Human Error Blamed For Wrongful Convictions
A study of wrongful convictions in New York cites human error as a leading cause of mistaken guilty verdicts.
It determined that the root causes of the convictions included errors by a prosecutor, judge or member of law enforcement, as well as the misidentification of the accused by victims or witnesses. The mishandling of forensic evidence and a reliance on false confessions from the accused or false testimony from jailhouse informants were also to blame.
Some of the examples cited in the linked article go well beyond "human error." When the police or prosecutors withhold evidence that casts doubt on a defendant's guilt, their willful misconduct isn't a simple mistake. False confessions usually result from deliberately coercive interrogations. A refusal to be fair in the investigation and prosecution of crime isn't just error -- it's malicious, or reckless at best.
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