There are far too many wrongful convictions in the United States. There is no denying that our justice system is better than many other countries, but it's far from perfect. Many times after convictions of individuals, in and out of the Orlando/Central Florida area, it is proven that they were actually innocent. Sure, it's rare but it happens. It happens in a variety of crimes, which sometime leads to wrongful convictions. Far too often, erroneous convictions of violent crimes are later to have shown a lack of sufficient evidence.
How does this happen? Without us living in a future world where we can predict crime, a la Minority Report, there will always be some wrongful convictions. Obviously, social factors play a major role in an innocent person being convicted. We may not want to admit it, but it is the harsh truth.
A recent study showed the 10 factors that lead to a wrongful conviction:
- State death penalty culture.
- Strength of the prosecution's case.
- Strength of the defendant's case.
- Prosecution withholding crucial evidence.
- Forensic evidence errors.
- A defendant's age.
- A defendant's past criminal record.
- Misinformation by the state.
- Lying from non-witnesses.
- Family witnesses testifying.
Hopefully, we can take a long look at studies such as this one and learn how to set the system right. It's important defense attorneys keep this issue in the forefront and that the news reports on wrongful convictions. If we can all get this straightened out, then innocent people will remain free and go unpunished.