The Wrongful Conviction Of The Criminal Justice System

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Since the late 1980s, there have been thousands of cases in which prime suspects have been wrongfully convicted, the most common causes being eyewitness misidentification, incriminating statements, and statements from informants. According to The Innocence Project, there have been almost four hundred post-conviction DNA exoneration cases in our country, and they are working to investigate even more wrongful conviction cases. This life changing program, along with their six attorneys, gather information about thousands of cases and determine whether or not DNA evidence can be reevaluated. Kenneth Ireland’s case was submitted for litigation after they found that the court relied heavily on false statements from witnesses. Researchers working…show more content…
The rape kit evidence unfortunately found that it was impossible to find a match because the sample came from a person who “does not exhibit their blood type in their bodily fluids” (“The Innocence Project,” n. d.), meaning that Ireland could not be immediately ruled out. Ireland ended up pleading guilty of the crime, most likely to have a lesser sentence. The jury deliberated for three days over the decision, most likely because not all of the evidence was consistent. Ireland’s defense had just enough information for a successful case, but the lack of more evidence in his favor and information about other possible suspects lead the jury to make the devastating decision of sentencing him to fifty years in prison (“The Innocence Project,” n. d.). There were three charges against Ireland: felony murder, first-degree sexual assault, and third-degree burglary.
In 1991, Ireland appealed the decision by providing two arguments: that the two witnesses were informants and were being given a $20,000 reward to cover for another man, and that the court prohibited his defense from exhibiting evidence about another possible suspect. Unfortunately, his appeal was denied. The Innocence Project branch in Connecticut reviewed Ireland’s case in 2007 and with the improvement of DNA testing equipment, analysts confirmed that Ireland was not a match for the suspect. The court found Kevin Benefield guilty of the
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