Victims of a Faulty Justice System

Essay by ralphiaurenUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 2008

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Crimes occur in every country and justice systems have been established to identify and punish criminals to discourage future crimes. To convict someone of a crime, there must be proof that suggests the defendant is guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt. The design of the system allows for human error and even intentionally deception to play a role in deciding a man's guilt. Evidence in the twenty-first century is based more off scientific evidence as technology and forensic studies have evolved. The design of the system however allows evidence such as eyewitness testimonies and guilty pleas to be submitted and used. There are rules put in place to help the defendant receive a fair trial such as providing a lawyer and jury selection to weed out some biased citizens.

An organization called The Innocence Project comprised of non-profit legal clinics has noticed that the justice system is flawed, and is willing to help exonerate innocent people who have been wrongly convicted.

The most common method they use is DNA evidence because it is evidence that cannot be refuted. Statistics found on the organization's website suggest racism is a leading cause of biased views and many innocent people are serving sentences for crimes they did not commit. The legal system does not want the public to know that the process is not impeccable, so it does not actively publicize or aid inmates in exonerating themselves. The Innocence Project reports that 77% of wrongful convictions stem from mistaken eye witness reports, and that most victims under stress cannot pinpoint the criminal accurately, especially if they are of a different ethnicity. Of the 216 convicts who have been exonerated so far, 16 of them were on death row. People who are not guilty of crimes are being put to death because of our poor...