Perceptions of Criminal Justice

 The last reason identified by the authors is that all individuals need the reassurance that they are safe from a faulty judiciary. If due to any reason the people get the impression that the judiciary is sentencing the wrong people or passing wrong sentences on criminals then it undermines every constitutional provision. Any errors in passing sentences (be it Police Error, Prosecution Error, Inadequacy of Counsel, or a Judicial Error) all stain the reputation of the legal process and are proof to the people that they are not safe… not only from criminals but the law as well. Thus, it is a major concern to conduct research on the number of wrongful convictions that occur in any given place.

As mentioned earlier there are a number of errors that take place in the wrongful convictions. The major parties recognized which may influence wrongful conviction are the police detectives, the prosecution, the council and the judge himself. To decrease the rates of wrongful convictions firstly, the police should conduct thorough investigations with absolute findings and no conspicuous shreds of evidence. Also, the police should not use the biased investigation techniques which tend to make neutral evidence appear in their favor. The prosecutors can help cut down the rate of wrongful convictions by deliberating thoroughly on which cases to pick up as they have the time and resources available to analyze the case thoroughly and go through all the evidence available. The attorneys must conduct independent research rather than relying on the evidences handed down to him. Judges must simply be honest to their profession as they could put an innocent man in jail or set a serial criminal out free. But the common solution here which could favor all the involved is to slightly lengthen the process rather than passing the decision on the spur of the moment or based on any biases one may feel. Proper deliberation of proof over an adequate period of time by all parties would help decrease the rate of wrongful convictions.

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The average rates of wrongful convictions observed across the different groups were from 0.5% to a maximum value of around 4%. Even though these seem like very small percentages they should not be considered to be. For every thousand cases that the court takes it means that it is wrongfully convicting 5 to 40 people. In actuality the percentage of wrongfully convicted people should be 0% as that is the purpose of the court, to put the criminals in jail and to safeguard the innocent. Even if the court convicts one wrong person then they are destroying his life for a crime he did not commit. Wrongful convictions are morally, ethically and socially unacceptable and should not exist at all. The solutions as mentioned in the previous question should be implemented or at least considered. It is the responsibility of the court to pass fair judgment and should the court fail to fulfill its obligation then the major pillar of society would crumble causing criminal offenses as well as people taking the law into their own hands.

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