No doubt you’re all aware that “criminals” are being exonerated more and more frequently. If these wrongful convictions don’t bother you, then shame on you.
There is a National Registry of Exonerations, a joint project of the University of the Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. Take a look.
Various state and district court systems have established “conviction integrity units”, or equivalent, with the mission of reinvestigating cases of possible false conviction. I was surprised to learn that one of the first was in Dallas, TX. I’d always thought of the Texas justice system as incapable of admitting a mistake, so I owe them an apology. At the State level, however, the equivalent commission is subject to political meddling; so I take back half of my apology.
Connecticut has put in place three measures to prevent false convictions (excerpted from a Hartford Courant editorial of 2012-05-30):
- The first is tightening eyewitness identification procedures
- The second is the audiovisual recording of custodial interrogations
- The third is the Connecticut Innocence Project, which is part of the Division of Public Defender Services
Good for Connecticut. Let’s hope that all of the other states will do the same.