If you have been convicted of a crime that you absolutely know you did not commit, you may want to know you are not alone. Although that will do nothing to help you feel better, it may give you hope that it can be overturned in a court of law. In fact, by some estimates, as many as 5% of all guilty verdicts could be considered as wrongful convictions. Here are five common reasons why.
1. Misconduct within Law Enforcement
As a case in point here, we have all heard the running joke about traffic tickets written at the end of the month. “Didn’t you make your quota this month, officer?” Sadly, it is no joke and altogether too often the result of the need for securing convictions. It isn’t always the police officer either! It could be the district attorney or anyone who stands to benefit by a conviction. If you have been wrongfully convicted and seeking to be exonerated, check out the winning team at https://www.rblaw.net/practices-wrongful-convictions. They are the experts at getting to the bottom of this horrendous practice.
2. Mistakenly ID’d by a Witness
While someone may have seen a crime take place, unless they were literally face-to-face with the perpetrator, there is every possibility that they are mistaken. Too many times the wrong person was picked out of a police lineup, and sometimes the real criminal was not even there! In an effort to be ‘helpful,’ they choose the person who best meets their recollection, even if not 100%.
3. Inaccurate Forensics
One of the things that the public’s fascination with the OJ Simpson murder trial brought to public awareness was the new technology that made DNA evidence possible. Never before had this kind of evidence been brought to the general public’s attention and since then, a great number of wrongful convictions have been avoided or overturned by an astute attorney demanding this type of crime scene analysis.
4. False Admission of Guilt
Believe it or not, it isn’t always the interrogating officer or member of the DA’s team that coerces a guilty plea from the accused. Sometimes it can even be a loved one or member of their family who doesn’t want a trial of this nature making the news. They’d rather have a small one-liner in the police blotter that few people read anyway than a publicized trial being covered by all the local media. There are any number of people who can literally pressure the accused to admit guilt, and sadly, they often do.
5. Perjury in Witness Testimony
There are also times when someone has something to gain by the accused being found guilty and so they will perjure themselves on the witness stand. Sometimes it can be the arresting officer and other times a member of the community or perhaps the real perpetrator. We would like to believe that people are honest, but this is not the always case. Some people have no sense of moral obligation to tell the truth, especially if they have something to gain by lying.
These are common reasons why wrongful convictions happen in the first place, but with an astute attorney willing to go to battle for you, they can be overturned. Getting to the bottom of exactly what happens will take their expertise, so hire a lawyer who has a winning record in cases just like yours. You’ll be happy (and free!) because you did.