Innocent people exonerated from wrongful convictions
A surprising number of innocent people are wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit, and some are being exonerated after evidence proves their innocence.
Contrary to what some people may think, not all people housed in New York prisons and penitentiaries across the country are guilty. There are a surprising number of innocent people who have been put behind bars after they were charged and convicted of a crime they did not commit. False confessions, eyewitness misidentification, improper forensic testing, bad lawyering and informants are just some of the factors that can lead to wrongful convictions.
An innocent man set free
An increasing number of people are being exonerated from their prison sentences in the U.S. One case that gained media attention involved two Brooklyn men who were convicted of murder at the age of 16 years old. One of the innocent men was recently released from his sentence after spending 29 years locked up. Sadly, the other passed away while behind bars, according to the New York Daily News.
The report stated that there were a number of troubling problems surrounding the case that should have indicated the men’s innocence from early on. The credibility of the district attorney assigned to the case was challenged years ago due to a scandal involving wrongful convictions. The men both gave false confessions after being fed information regarding the crime. Although the innocent man’s family celebrated his release and return home, there are undoubtedly more people in prison who are waiting for someone to uncover the facts of their case and release them from their unjust sentences as well.
According to a CBS News report, the number of people exonerated from their convictions has reached record numbers. New York came in third, after Texas and Illinois, for having the largest number of exonerations in 2013. A total of 87 people were released from their prison sentences in 2013, which is the highest annual number of exonerations that has taken place, as reported by the National Registry of Exonerations.
In some of the overturned cases, innocent defendants had pled guilty in order to avoid getting a longer prison sentence. Several national law enforcement organizations, as well as the Innocence Project are pushing agencies to standardize their lineup procedures and enforce guidelines involving eyewitness and suspect interviews in order to avoid wrongful convictions.
Speaking with an attorney
If you are facing criminal charges and aren’t sure where to turn next, you may want to seek legal counsel from a defense attorney in New York. When your future is on the line, it can be difficult to make the crucial decisions necessary to get you through the legal process. It may be helpful to have experienced legal counsel on your side.