7 May 2015
When a defendant is sentenced to time in prison they are convicted of a crime and it is presumed that the defendant is guilty. That is not true in all situations and it has been proven that there are defendants who were wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. Wrongful convictions are defined as: a conviction of a person accused of a crime which, in the result of subsequent investigation, proves erroneous (Wrongful). The fact that there are innocent people in prison serving time behind bars for crimes they did not commit is injustice. There are people out there that are working hard to take these cases back to trial to exonerate those who are really innocent. Exoneration is a subsequent declaration by the appropriate legal authority that a person who was wrongfully convicted of a crime is not guilty of having committed that crime (Siegel). So now that it is known that defendants can be wrongful convicted we need to look at what the causes are that lead to the wrongful conviction. Some of the contributions to wrongful convictions are eyewitness misidentification, unvalidated/improper forensics, and false confessions (Siegel). Who looks into these cases, what about the case makes it possible that someone went to prison that is innocent? The Innocence project is one group of people who are out there trying and successfully helping defendants that are wrongfully convicted become exonerated (Siegel).
The Innocence Project was formed in 1992 by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld who were two attorneys. The Innocence Project is an organization that, in collaboration with the Cardozo Law School in New York, seeks to exonerate wrongfully convicted persons through DNA testing (Siegel). The Innocence Project has a staff of attorneys and clinic students that provide representation and or assistance to the cases of those they take to trial. One thing that the Innocence Project has done is...