Jon Gould, Ph.D., Director of the Washington Institute for Public and International Affairs Research at American University says there are several factors that commonly work together to lead to wrongful convictions. The researcher’s comments are based on the findings of his recent study “Predicting Erroneous Convictions: A Social Science Approach to Miscarriages of Justice”
- Individuals with a prior criminal history were found to be at a greater risk of getting hit with a wrongful conviction.
- Forensic evidence is often a critical piece in criminal prosecution cases. Gould’s research found that inaccurate testimony regarding forensic evidence is a prime contributor involved in wrongful convictions.
- The prosecution is required by law to provide the defense with evidence they uncover that suggests the defendant is innocent. A failure by prosecution to provide this evidence, known as exculpatory evidence, can keep a defense attorney from providing proper defense.
These are just a few of the factors that can lead to wrongful convictions within the judicial system highlighted in this recent social science research.
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Main photo by Keturah Stickann