Problems That Led to the Wrongful Conviction of David Milgaard

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How to appropriately and fairly carry out criminal justice matters is something that every country struggles with. A major reason for this struggle is the fallibility of the justice system. It is acceptable to concede that the possibility of human error in every case and investigation may lead to a wrongful conviction. In the case of David Milgaard, however, Canada's Criminal Justice System not only erred, but failed grievously, resulting in millions of dollars wasted, in a loss of public confidence in the system, and most tragically, in the robbery of two decades of one man's life. Factors including, but not limited to, the social context at the time of the crime, the social perception of deviance, the influence of the media, and the …show more content…
As a result of these moral panics, it is extremely safe to label such individuals as those engaging in criminal activity.

Labeling played an important role in the initial arrest of David Milgaard. Police officers, as members of society, often use character discrimination in identifying suspects. Unfortunately, the police likely began the investigation with a particular image of the suspect in mind, an image established by the elite members of society whom essentially determine what a deviant is. Regrettably, David Milgaard happened to fit the mold. The stigma that Milgaard would carry for next twenty-seven years of his life would be that of a rapist and murderer. The issue with labeling is that Milgaard felt no one would ever look at him in any other way than as a criminal. This was affirmed by the rejection of his final appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. As a result, Milgaard attempted numerous times to escape prison and commit suicide; he felt as though society had given up on him. Ironically, his escape from prison was his only actual criminal act, but it led to an even greater public perception of his criminality. Even upon his release in April of 1992, he was not formally acquitted. (CBC/radio Canada) It was no until July, 1997, upon the discovery of new DNA evidence that cleared Milgaard's name, that he received an apology from the Saskatchewan government for his wrongful conviction and the label was removed (CBC/radio Canada). It was not until

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