According to bestselling author John Grisham, he believes that there are eight reasons that individuals receive wrongful convictions in the United States. Statistics show that anywhere from two to ten percent of convicted criminals are wrongfully convicted, which, when applied to the number of jailed individuals in the country, ranges from nearly 50,000 to over 200,000 prisoners. Unfortunately, once wrongful convictions take place, it is almost impossible to get prisoners released from prison and proven innocent.
Grisham’s reasons include (1) poor police work, which may entail police hiding or lying about evidence; (2) misconduct by prosecutors, which may encompass false stories and the use of unqualified or fake experts via lawyers; (3) false confessions, when individuals may be pushed into false confessions after hours of intense interrogation; (4) flawed eyewitness accounts, in that the witness may not accurately remember the crime and its details; (5) misinformation from other prisoners who may personally benefit from imparting false information; (6) inexperienced or unskilled lawyers who may be in over their heads during a case and fail to properly represent clients; (7) questionable judges who may not consider all the evidence or sway the case in a particular direction for their own benefit; and (8) inaccurate scientific explanations like forensics or DNA evidence, which may not always be reliable or using experts who may not hold the proper qualifications or education to provide evidence for the case.
When the reasons Grisham listed occur in a criminal case, the innocent party may be sent to prison for an extended period or even face serious consequences like inclusion on death row. If you believe someone you love was wrongfully convicted of a crime, call our experienced civil rights lawyers at Williams Cedar at 215-557-0099 or contact us online. From our offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.