- Subject index
Addressing the specific issues surrounding wrongful convictions and their implications for society, Convicted but Innocent includes: survey data concerning the possible magnitude of the problem and its causes; fascinating actual case samples; detailed analyses of the major factors associated with wrongful conviction; discussion of public policy implications; and recommendations for reducing the occurrence of such convictions. The authors maintain that while no system of justice can be perfect, a focus on preventable errors can substantially reduce the number of current conviction injustices.
Chapter 3: How Could This Have Happened?: The Causes and Prevalence of Wrongful Conviction
How Could This Have Happened?: The Causes and Prevalence of Wrongful Conviction
Quite clearly, there is no accurate, scientific way to determine how many innocent people are convicted, or, put another way, how many of those convicted of crimes are innocent. When we include, as is appropriate, those who plead guilty to crimes they have not committed, the problem becomes more complex, for it is relatively rare for suspects to plead guilty to serious crimes, relatively rare for innocent persons to be given prison terms, and relatively rare for such impropriety and errors to gain the attention of the mass media.
There are, as we write, approximately one million people serving time in U.S. state ...