Monday, August 10, 2009
Some wrongful convictions are caused by honest mistakes. In some cases, however, officials take steps to ensure that a defendant is convicted despite weak evidence or even clear proof of innocence.
The cases of wrongful convictions uncovered by DNA testing are replete with evidence of fraud or misconduct by prosecutors or police departments.
A few bad apples
Most law enforcement officers and prosecutors are honest and trustworthy. But criminal justice is a human endeavor and the possibility for corruption exists. Even if one officer of every thousand is dishonest, wrongful convictions will continue to occur.
DNA exonerations have exposed official misconduct at every level and stage of a criminal investigation. This misconduct has included:
* deliberate suggestiveness in identification procedures
* the withholding of evidence from defense
* the deliberate mishandling, mistreatment or destruction of evidence
* the coercion of false confessions
* the use of unreliable government informants or snitches
Everything in the above outline for Gov't misconduct has been done by the prosecutor in the case against the yellow house store owners Guy and Carrie Neighbors
at 12:04 PM