Judges, Prosecutors, and Defense Attorneys are rarely held accountable for misconduct even when it is proven that their actions have been responsible for wrongful convictions. As a result, the families and individuals irreparably harmed by their collective judicial malfeasance have no legal recourse or punitive remedies available.
This is an unacceptable practice. Officials should be held accountable for their actions. The right to a fair trial is an American ideal that has been tarnished by judicial dishonesty, cronyism, and neglect. The facts of a case and the truth of the matter should always take precedence over political aims and goals.
The United States judicial system continues to allow false statements, suppression of exculpatory evidence, supposition, coerced testimony, deals in exchange for testimony, and blatant perjury within our nation’s courtrooms. Often, specific instances of the aforementioned have served to exacerbate charges brought against innocent citizens, creating unfounded assumptions of guilt.
Statistics detail the patterns that have resulted in the majority of the wrongful convictions extant within our nation today.
Bureau of Justice Statistics from the United States Department of Justice concede that 8% to 12% of state prisoners are actually or factually innocent. If the error ratio of rightful convictions resides around ten percent nationally, 200,000 innocent people are currently imprisoned for crimes they did not commit and deserve judicial recourse.
Based on a study of 100 death sentences overturned by post-conviction evidence, out of the first 70 cases that were reversed:
- Over 30 of these involvedprosecutorial misconduct.
- Over 30 of these involvedpolice misconduct which led to wrongful convictions.
- Approximately 15 of these involvedfalse witness testimony.
- 34% of the police misconduct cases involvedsuppression of exculpatory evidence. 11% involved evidence fabrication.
- 37% of the prosecutorial misconduct cases involvedsuppression of exculpatory evidence. 25% involved knowing use of false testimony.
Public officials who are responsible for wrongful convictions have often knowingly restricted a citizen’s right to a fair trial, fabricated evidence which has led to a guilty verdict, or engaged in severe prosecutorial misconduct. Many career prosecutors have aggressively pursued life sentences or death sentences for innocent individuals, brazenly accusing people of crimes while having full knowledge of the defendant’s likely innocence. Though many public officials remain impartial and have full respect and dignity for the rule of law, statistics show that judicial malfeasance and prosecutorial misconduct continue to be ongoing problems. Just one wrongful conviction in this nation is a blight upon the system that must be rectified at any cost. Innocent citizens who have had their rights and freedoms stolen deserve recourse against these malignant strains of injustice. It is clear that that we must put an end to the leniency and blind eye turned to official misconduct in order to put an end to wrongful convictions.