Canada : New Report on Wrongful Convictions
A new report on wrongful convictions prepared by prosecutors and police in Canada has been released.
"Various commissions and studies in Canada and around the world have provided valuable insight into the systemic causes of wrongful convictions and into what has gone wrong in individual cases," the report says...."What is startling, however, is that some problems, themes and mistakes arise time and time again, regardless of where the miscarriage of justice took place."
Fault lies with the conduct of police, prosecutors, defence lawyers, judges and forensic scientists, and they are not confined to proceedings in the courtroom, says the report.
The report compares wrongful convictions to natural disasters, and says they are rarely the result of just one thing going wrong.
"Police officers, Crown counsel, forensic scientists, judges and defence counsel all have a role to play in ensuring that innocent people are not convicted of crimes they didn't commit," says the report. "As useful as commissions of inquiry may be, they usually come many years after the fact. The goal of all justice system participants must be to prevent wrongful convictions from occurring in the first place."
The report identifies the leading causes:
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