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To understand why the rate of wrongful convictions is high and for us to come up with a solution to reduce it, we need to know what are the causes of it. Wrongful conviction affects the innocent person and their family tremendously. Not only that justice is not achieved, public safety is put at risk because the real perpetrator is still out there. According to New England Innocence Project Website, some causes of wrongful conviction includes eyewitness misidentification, false confession, snitch testimony, police and prosecutorial misconduct, and poor defense lawyering. According to the website, eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States. In addition, over 75 percent of DNA exoneration cases have involved convictions based on mistaken identification evidence. Defendant's poor mental health and the use of coercive interrogation techniques are just some factors that contribute to false confession. These factors result in an often threatened and confused defendant, who will confess to the crime in an attempt to relieve their current discomfort. Sometimes a defendant was imprisoned because an informant or 'snitch' testified against them. Snitches often have incentives to lie on the stand in order to escape prosecution themselves or receive shorter sentences. Police and prosecutorial misconduct happens because law enforcement feels pressure to obtain a suspect. Inadequate and ineffective defense lawyering such as failure to prepare for trial, to investigate the crime and the defendant's alibi, and to challenge witnesses and experts can definitely put the innocent person to jail. Now that we are aware of what's causing wrongful convictions, our criminal justice system should focus on correcting these flaws. They should be doing more careful investigations and conducting more trials while making sure those trials are well done.
Causes of Wrongful Convictions. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2017, from http://www.newenglandinnocence.org/causes-of-wrongful-convictions/