Twitter

Follow palashbiswaskl on Twitter

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fwd: [bangla-vision] Fw: [PRUP] How innocent people end up behind bars



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Andrea Ball <aball001@neo.rr.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 7:06 PM
Subject: [bangla-vision] Fw: [PRUP] How innocent people end up behind bars
To: Jerry Arman <pastorarman@wmconnect.com>


 



 
----- Original Message -----
From: Annette
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2011 8:20 AM
Subject: [PRUP] How innocent people end up behind bars

 

How innocent people end up behind bars

9 Comments

BY RON SYLVESTER

The Wichita Eagle

Photos

«
1 of 1
»
  • Brandon Garrett, professor of law, University of Virginia, has studied more than 200 cases of people who have been convicted of crimes, then exonerated through DNA evidence. He has been able to identify common threads in the cases.

    University of Virginia Law School/

    Brandon Garrett, professor of law, University of Virginia, has studied more than 200 cases of people who have been convicted of crimes, then exonerated through DNA evidence. He has been able to identify common threads in the cases.

Innocence Resources

Exoneration statistics

  • 266: People exonerated through the Innocence Project since 1989.
  • 13: Average number of years those people spent in prison.
  • 5: People exonerated through the Innocence Project without DNA evidence
  • 5-10: Estimated percentage of cases in which DNA evidence is available.
  • 138: People on death row who have been exonerated, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
  • 16: Number of people on both the Innocence Project and DPIC lists.
  • 27: People exonerated in U.S. in 2010.
  • 16: People exonerated in U.S. without DNA evidence.
  • 41: People exonerated in Texas.
  • 31: People exonerated in Illinois.
  • 2: People exonerated in Kansas.

The U.S. criminal justice system is built on a code of "better that 10 guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer."

Now, it seems, 266 innocent people aren't enough to prompt many states, including Kansas, to enact reforms that could limit the possibility of putting the wrong people behind bars.

The 266 people exonerated by DNA evidence illustrate cracks in the system, said Brandon Garrett, a University of Virginia law professor who has studied the cases.

"We just don't know how many other cases might be flawed," Garrett said. "And our system, for the most part, isn't responding."

In studying DNA exonerations, Garrett found:

* 79 percent were convicted on mistaken eyewitness testimony.

* 57 percent were convicted on inaccurate forensic testing, such as blood and hair analysis.

* 18 percent were convicted on false reports from police informants.

* 16 percent confessed to crimes they didn't commit.

Frequently, people were convicted on more than one type of evidence.

Reform has proven slow and ineffective.

Kansas is among 48 states that passed laws providing defendants access to DNA testing following a conviction. Still, prosecutors frequently fight testing, and judges use narrow readings of the law to deny relief.

"And that still happens in states that have good post-conviction DNA statutes," Garrett said.

Most of the time, evidence that could yield DNA is destroyed. Kansas is among 18 states without laws requiring preservation of evidence.

"Even today, well into the DNA age, you still have a lot of jurisdictions with no protocols to make sure crucial crime-scene evidence is preserved," Garrett said.

Only 10 states have laws dealing with eyewitness identification — the leading cause of wrongful convictions. Kansas isn't one of them.

Some states are reacting.

Lawmakers in North Carolina became the nation's first to enact an independent court body empowered to investigate claims of innocence: the Innocence Inquiry Commission.

Rhode Island legislators ordered a task force to study problems of eyewitness identification. Its findings formed bills that would change police procedures.

In other states, courts are trying to fix their problems.

Supreme courts in Iowa and five other states mandated recording of interrogations to protect police and reduce coerced confessions.

New Jersey's high court ordered a review of eyewitness testimony, leading to changes in the rules for using it in a trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court has left it up to individual states to determine which remedies to offer those who claim innocence.

"Our criminal justice system is so fragmented," Garrett said, "that unless our state legislatures start passing more statutes, these problems may continue to reoccur."

--



Read more: http://www.kansas.com/2011/02/13/1718593/how-innocent-people-end-up-behind.html#ixzz1EyaxxAnq


 

Family and Youth Defense Fund

http://www.familybound.org/family_bound_index.htm

Your contributions are certainly needed and very appreciated.


__._,_.___


--
Palash Biswas
Pl Read:
http://nandigramunited-banga.blogspot.com/

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Welcome

Website counter

Followers

Blog Archive