The problem of wrongly accused and imprisoned citizens has gained significant importance during recent decades. The growing number of criminal cases in which the convicts are exonerated implies concerns about the validity of the current justice and investigation systems. The opinions on the necessity of the ultimate reconstruction of the legislation relevant to the issue under discussion vary. However, the facts and research on the incidence of the late finding of new evidence proving the innocence of many citizens demonstrate a number of flaws in the current law. They include bias, insufficient investigation, false eyewitness claims, and police corruption (Judson 780-781). Such phenomena impose a series of investigation and justice mistakes that eventually imprison an innocent person and leave a felon free to commit other crimes. Therefore, it is vital to research the question of the wrongly convicted and develop a system of changes to the current law.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
Cases of the Wrongly Convicted
The literature on law, justice, and criminology provides numerous cases of those who had been imprisoned for decades before their innocence was proven. As Weinberg states, there are non-profit organizations that investigate the facts of wrongly convicted individuals and which receive thousands of inmates’ requests to find proof of their innocence (347). For example, David Burton spent 24 years in prison for a murder that he had not committed, Ronald Cotton served more than ten years upon being wrongly accused of rape (Weinberg 347-349). There are thousands of similar cases, and one can only anticipate the number of those, which have not been re-investigated. Therefore, it is needed to detect the areas where the professionals make mistakes and find ways to avoid them, so there is no need to correct them later.
Ways to Change Justice System
The elements that help investigate the cases of wrongly convicted individuals should be considered as the main constituents of the change to the current justice system to eliminate the mistakes. These elements include eyewitnesses’ testimonies, DNA data, and police corruption. Indeed, in many cases, the accusers make their decisions based on false eyewitness identification (Weinberg 353-354). DNA analysis has become one of the main reasons for proving the innocence of those mistakenly imprisoned (Acker et al. 708). However, the mistakes related to DNA materials are the reason for wrongful justice. Flaws and biases in laboratories’ work impose bad outcomes and provide strong evidence against an innocent person (Judson 784-785). Similarly, a significant impact on the investigation outcomes is made by prosecutors and the police, whose biased opinions and decisions might be provoked by corruption (Bishop and Osler 1035). Therefore, it is important to review the decisive role of these elements in the prosecution and establish more severe requirements applicable to these procedures.
In summary, the problem of the growing number of cases concerning the wrongly accused raises consideration related to law reformation. Bias, corruption, false eyewitness claims, and mistaken DNA tests ruin the lives of innocent people and their families, leaving the criminals free. Therefore, it is vital to use the findings of the research and the achievements of the agencies working with the cases of wrongly accused to reform the system of justice. It is better to use funds to change the law than to spend them on the compensation of years of life in prison.
Acker, James R., et al. “Elephants in the Courtroom: Examining Overlooked Issues in Wrongful Convictions.” Albany Law Review, vol. 79, no. 3, 2016, pp. 705-715.
Bishop, Jeanne, and Mark Osler. “Prosecutors and Victims: Why Wrongful Convictions Matter.” The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, vol. 105, no. 4, 2015, pp. 1031-1047.
Judson, Katherine. “Bias, Subjectivity, and Wrongful Convictions.” University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, vol. 50, no. 3, 2017, pp. 779-794.
100% original paper
on any topic
done in as little as
Weinberg, Steve. “Wrongful Convictions.” CQ Researcher, vol. 19, no. 15, 2009, pp. 347-371.