27 YEAR OLD CONVICTION SET ASIDE

There was an article in the paper about a 27 year old conviction that was set aside in New York for a man convicted of rape. It turns out that the man was never at the Night Club where the rape took place. He was convicted based on bad eye witness testimony and a lying witness. These types of cases should be troubling to any person with compassion and a sense of justice. Can you imagine spending about 1/3 of your life in a maximum security prison for a crime you did not commit?

I have written before in this Blog about eye witness testimony. New social science research and empirical studies have proven that eye witness identification is extremely unreliable. Yes, very unreliable. But how can law enforcement operate without eye witness testimony? Eye witness testimony is essential in many cases. Can you imagine how hard a prosecution would be if law enforcement could not use eye witness testimony? Impossible might be the best word.

The scientific studies have proven that people create facts in their mind when it is suggested to them who may have committed the offense. In cross-racial identification cases there are often very serious errors. Many social scientists and legal researchers are urging new types of line-ups in order to avoid unnecessary suggestions to the victim and jury instructions that warn the jury in trials to be aware of the risks of false identification. All of these methods should be employed. Losing a loved one is the most tragic event in our lives. Having a loved one sent to jail for a crime he/she did not commit is like losing a loved one. As a society we should do everything in our power to minimize wrongful convictions.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

Contact Information