Wrongful convictions, also known as miscarriages of justice, are very common in the criminal justice system today. With the first known wrongful conviction in 1872, to the most recent in 2023, researchers have similarly identified three causes of wrongful convictions: false confessions, eyewitness errors, and investigative misconduct. Wrongful convictions can cause many physical and mental effects on post-exonerees and currently incarcerated individuals, including but not limited to, clinical anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Analyses of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) have proven instrumental in cases of wrongful convictions. Each exoneree should have access to the DNA database to test against the DNA evidence against them, which only nine states in the U.S. currently allow. More action is needed to prevent erroneous convictions in both the federal and state courts, such as further analysis of DNA evidence, access to evidence post-conviction and educating law enforcement concerning the potential and causes of false confessions.
"What are the Causes and Remedies of Wrongful Convictions?,"
The Mid-Southern Journal of Criminal Justice: Vol. 22, Article 3.
Available at: https://mds.marshall.edu/msjcj/vol22/iss1/3