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NCJRS Abstract

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  NCJ Number: NCJ 244915     Find in a Library
  Title: Wrongful Convictions: Causes, Prevention, Impact and Outlook for Corrections
  Document URL: PDF 
  Author(s): Doris Wells
  Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Date Published: 2013
  Page Count: 3
  Annotation: This report discusses the results of a study that examined the effects that wrongful convictions have on the criminal justice system.
  Abstract: This report presents the results of a study that examined the factors leading to wrongful convictions and the impact that these convictions have on the criminal justice system. The study found that the following factors were significant to whether or not an innocent defendant was wrongfully convicted: whether the case was tried in a punitive State or one with a death penalty culture; the age and criminal history of the defendant; whether the prosecution withheld evidence or presented a weak case; the strength of the defense and use of the defendant’s family member as a witness; misidentification of the defendant; errors in the presentation of forensic evidence; and lying by non-eyewitnesses. A set of recommendations are presented in the article that address ways to prevent wrongful convictions of innocent defendants. These recommendations include the use of checklists for investigations, performing DNA tests early in the investigation, having prosecutors establishing open-file discoveries, and providing a threshold of evidence to support why a defendant is in a lineup. The report also discusses the financial impact that wrongful convictions have on the criminal justice system due to the extra expenses incurred in housing, treating, and training these individuals. 3 endnotes
  Main Term(s): Wrongful conviction
  Index Term(s): Defendants ; Criminal histories ; Wrongful incarceration ; Death Penalty
  Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
  Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: Reprinted with permission of the American Correctional Association, from Corrections Today, November/December 2013
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