Suspects in New York and throughout the nation are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Yet, the U.S. judicial system has flaws that can lead to the incarceration of an innocent person.
Eyewitness misidentification, inaccurate forensic testing, coerced confessions, false confessions and prosecutor misconduct are issues in the judicial process, as they can lead to wrongful convictions.
Defining prosecutor misconduct
When a prosecutor acts in an illegal or unethical manner, the jury may have an unclear and inaccurate perception of the facts. Misconduct also occurs when attorneys fail to act, meet deadlines or present inaccurate information to the judge and jury.
Victims of prosecutor misconduct
Often times, illegal and/or negligent activity conducted by prosecutors goes undetected. Yet, the District Attorney of Brooklyn found evidence of prosecutor errors, which led to at least 25 wrongful convictions, including those of burglary,homicide and sexual assault.
The Brooklyn police department created The Conviction Review Unit, which allowed researchers and attorneys from outside the department to review past criminal investigations and publish their findings.
They found that prosecutors manipulated confessions, obtained false confessions or coerced people during the interrogation process. In some cases, officers physical assaulted and threatened suspects into giving false information in their confessions. Furthermore, prosecutors failed to properly process, analyze and report evidence that could have proved the defendant’s innocence.
Of the 25 people whose cases were overturned by the DA due to the results of the investigation, one did not make it out alive. The man passed away in jail after serving a sentence for robbery, weapons charges, homicide and a kidnapping he did not commit. He was 16-years-old when placed in jail.
People deserve a fair trial when charged with a crime. If you face criminal charges, a strong criminal defense attorney may help to protect and uphold your rights in court.