Wrongful convictions happen all the time. Recent studies have shown staggering results about the number of people who are wrongfully convicted in the U.S. for all sorts of crimes. These convictions occur for several reasons. False or mistaken eyewitness identifications, perjury or false testimony, and a shocking number of cases involving prosecutorial or police misconduct are all attributable to this rampant injustice.
The attitude of most people is that if someone is charged with a crime they are guilty. There is such a “Get the bad guy” attitude that there is little concern over sending an innocent person to prison. We as Americans boast about our freedoms but do we really protect them? That is what the criminal justice system was designed to do. Yet how many people want to get out of jury duty? Juries are the foundation of our system. Juries decide whether a person goes free or is imprisoned. My experience is that jurors do not take this responsibility seriously. They see it as an inconvenience. Forget about justice if a jury has to start deliberations on Friday afternoon! They would rather vote guilty and go home. Who can be bothered actually deliberating?!
Recent studies have shown 873 faulty convictions. Out of 416 homicide cases where individuals were exonerated, 64% were attributed, at least in part, to perjury or false accusation. What is worse, 56% of the exonerations were attributed to either prosecutorial or police misconduct which included the withholding of evidence favorable to the suspect.