When misconduct or mistakes are made it can have very damaging effects on individuals and their lives, but also to the credibility of the criminal justice system. This can happen and does on occasion (Meyer & Grant, 2003). How can we improve consistency in how prosecutors accept case work? When assessing possible improvements to the consistency of how prosecutors accept case work, there are no simple answers. Putting strict demands on what a prosecutor
These limitations are shown regularly in the areas of juries and victims’ rights. Our laws may not always be enforceable and at times, victim’s rights may be turned away to promote resource efficiency. Juries and the jury system are one of the most controversial and publicly highlighted issues within the criminal trial process. In the modern era where many pieces of evidence involve technology and forensics, some jurors may have difficulty understanding evidence due to the increasing technical nature of some cases. This is shown in an article written by Justice Kevin Duggan in the Sydney Morning Herald (July 25, 2011) where he states that “criminal cases are becoming too complicated for juries”.
If juries continue to use jury nullification, it will result in a weakened democratic system. Racially based jury nullification is and has been a continuous debate for a long time now. Racially based jury nullification may be a benefit in addressing an unfair justice issue while sentencing someone. When it comes to proving that discrimination exists in terms of someone’s race and affects the severity and length of the sentence issued, this is when jury nullification benefits justice issues. If a jury fails or refuses to convict a defendant in a criminal trial even though there if proof of guilt, jury nullification takes place.
‘Outline and evaluate research into eyewitness testimony.’ Eyewitness testimonies are often used as evidence and are an important part of the criminal process. Witnesses to crimes may be perceived to be honest and well intention-ed when giving evidence, however psychological research has shown that eyewitness testimonies may not be as truthful and helpful as it is widely perceived thus debating how valid eyewitness testimonies are. There are many factors that affect eyewitness testimonies, one of the main factors is the role of anxiety. One of the most widely known studies into anxiety affecting eyewitness testimony is Loftus’ study to find out if anxiety during a witnessed incident affects the accuracy of later identification. Within this study participants were exposed to two situations, one a low-key discussion in a laboratory about an equipment failure with a person then emerging from the laboratory holding a pen with grease on their hands.
What happens during the reconstruction of the memory may significantly affect its accuracy. False eyewitness memory is the main factor leading to false convictions. The Innocence Project claims that eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful conviction in the USA, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions that were subsequently overturned through DNA testing. One explanation for the inaccuracy of EWT is that questioning by the police or other officials after a crime may alter witnesses’ perception of the events and thus affect what they subsequently recall. For example some questions may be more ‘suggestive’ than others.
A Case of Wrongful Conviction On looking at the evidence provided for the conviction of 32 year old James Taylor, there are apparent inconsistencies with the evidence provided by the key eye witnesses. This was found after thorough research was done and each witness’s testimonies were evaluated. In accordance to the report provided by police the witnesses changed their stories on each meeting with an interviewer. Psychological research has proven that anxiety plays a major role in effecting an Eye Witness Testimony (EWT). Looking at the case there would have been a high level of anxiety amongst the witnesses when they were interviewed on site as they would have been in shock at what had happened, thus the inconsistencies with their statements.The Yerkes-Dodson law provides evidence to support my statement.
Both prosecutors and law enforcement, sometimes knowingly ignore this behavior, in hopes that their testimony will secure a conviction in their favor. Law enforcement who work closely with the crime lab in their department will often try to influence Pathologists to tailor their analysis and testing of evidence to suit their needs in assurance of a solid conviction. Consequently, Pathologists are criminally mishandling and presenting false testimony of the evidence and tests. Regardless of their underpinning of excuses, we must find some means of addressing these issues on a broader scope within the criminal justice system. Dr. Ralph Erdmann is a prime example of one who would
Thesis: Wrongful convictions happen in general because ones who are innocent are the ones who are typically found guilty in their criminal trial, or sometimes a defendant might feel the need to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit in order to avoid the death penalty or facing long prison sentences. 1. The start of the Innocence Movement a. When the first DNA exoneration in the United States occurred in 1989 it showed the real truth of innocence or guilt. b.
Eyewitness testimony can leave a deep and lasting impression on the jury, perjury is a harshly frowned upon crime as lying whilst under oath is practically a mockery of the integrity and legitimacy of the court system. However perjury is defined as the act of knowingly making a false statement while under oath – determining the truth is made difficult enough without the added possibility that the witness may not actually be aware of inaccuracies in their testimony. Eye witness testimony is evidence of what a witness believes to have occurred and although eye witness testimonies aid in making a conviction creditable they are often backed up by a lot of supporting evidence as an eye witness testimony can be harmful to a conviction as memories change. The growing length of time, the emotion experienced before and after the event and the pace of which the event happened can alter the memories drastically, there is also the chance that memories can be altered by third parties, enhanced features and false claims; the list above are just some reason for why our court system doesn’t base conviction on eye witness claims and try to find as much supporting evidence as possible to from a creditable conviction. One of the first identifiable flaws in the case of James Taylor is that his conviction was based on eye witness testimonies that throughout the case had been inconsistent and altered after the witnesses were shown a photo of James Taylor several months after the crime had occurred and given information about his past however the witnesses remained unsure and were left with the possibility that it could’ve been him.
The idea behind this research is to try and point out some of the disparities in sentencing, and possibly offer some potential ways to reduce the problem. “Racial disparity in sentencing, historical representation of current biases, plea bargaining and racial profiling are all factors contributing to the current over-representation of minorities in the judicial system, further threatening the African American community and weakening the family. Aggregate data and statistics compiled supports the assumption that African Americans are disproportionately subjected to conditions such as racial profiling, traffic stops leading to searches and seizures yielding minor offenses that lead to incarceration, rather than probation or rehabilitation. Further, they are given much longer, disparate prison sentencing than white offenders under similar circumstances. These systematic disparate treatments contribute to a dysfunctional community and lead to the socioeconomic destruction of the African American family infrastructure.” (Coulson-Clark, et.