Term Paper: Criminal Justice: Wrongful Conviction

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Criminal Justice: Wrongful Conviction

THE Criminal Justice SYSTEM

Does the criminal justice system have adequate protections in place minimizing the risk of innocent people being wrongly convicted or even executed?

Our criminal justice system is designed around the principle that wrongful exoneration is always preferable to wrongful conviction. Protections designed to minimize the chances of wrongful conviction include constitutional rights against unwarranted search and seizure of evidence, self-incrimination, and competent legal representation at the state's expense.

State violations of search and seizure laws often result in the complete exclusion of any evidence discovered improperly and a criminal returned to the street as a result, even where guilt is plainly obvious in retrospect. Likewise, explicit confessions are invalidated and excluded from permissible evidence where obtained through improper custodial interrogation (DOJ, 2006). Whereas the burden of proof in civil matters is a mere preponderance of evidence, criminal convictions require that the state establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt, a much stricter standard (Garner, 2001). Conviction for death penalty-eligible crimes require mandatory appeals at significant tax payer expense, both for the legal proceedings and representation, as well as for many years of incarceration during the lengthy appeals process.

What additional protections would you recommend?

The U.S. Supreme Court has already established a long tradition of protecting the rights of those accused of criminal conduct. Institutionalized protections are more easily enforced than is the conduct of individual state representatives. Probably the area most ripe for improvement relate to subtle distinctions where constitutional requirements and principles rely on the integrity and honest application of police officers to avoid purposely circumventing those protections in the field. In particular, some of the verbal exchanges between officers and suspects are purposely designed… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Criminal Justice: Wrongful Conviction.  (2007, March 2).  Retrieved September 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/criminal-justice-wrongful-conviction/24141

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"Criminal Justice: Wrongful Conviction."  Essaytown.com.  March 2, 2007.  Accessed September 17, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/criminal-justice-wrongful-conviction/24141.