Officials View Wrongful Convictions

Abstract

The wrongful conviction of factually innocent people is a growing concern within the United States. Reforms generated by this concern are predicated in part on the views of justice system participants. The authors surveyed judges, police officials, prosecutors, and defense lawyers in Michigan regarding their views of why wrongful convictions occur. The findings reveal that all groups acknowledge error and inaccuracy among justice system participants. In general, police and prosecutors believe that error levels are lowest, judges estimate higher error levels, and defense attorneys rank errors higher than other respondents. A majority of police, prosecutors, and judges believe that wrongful convictions do not occur with sufficient frequency to warrant system reforms, whereas a majority of defense attorneys believe that procedural changes are warranted. The findings reveal distinct occupational perspectives in respondents ’ attitudes concerning wrongful conviction. Keywords actual innocence; convictions; wrongful convictions; officials ’ view

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Last time updated on 12/04/2017

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