The Primary Reasons for Wrongful Convictions Eyewitness Misidentification and Perjury

The Primary Reasons for Wrongful Convictions Eyewitness Misidentification and Perjury

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What does a civil attorney do

It’s not unusual to hear about wrongful convictions occurring in the United States. A survey was recently conducted on this matter with 188 judges, prosecuting attorneys, public defenders, sheriffs, and police officers. These individuals claimed that on an annual basis, it’s possible that 10,000 people may be wrongfully convicted of a serious offense.

While the reasons for wrongful convictions will vary, the two primary causes are eyewitness misidentification and witness perjury. The primary cause in 52.3% of these cases was eyewitness misidentification, with 11% attributed to witness perjury.

Even though eyewitness identification is considered to be “the most powerful evidence against a suspect,” according to the California Innocence Project, the error rate can be as high as 1 in 4 accounts when the eyewitness is a stranger. The reasons for this vary, and include witnesses experiencing stress, an inability to reconstruct what occurred, and suggestive procedures utilized by law enforcement personnel and prosecutors.

When someone has committed perjury or persuaded someone else to do so, there are repercussions. In addition to being part of the reason that an individual may have been wrongfully convicted, this is also a legal violation. Depending on the circumstances, an individual that commits perjury in the state of California may face jail time. When the case pertains to securities, commodities, or business activities, they may serve up to a year in a county jail and be fined up to $25,000.

The California Legislative Information site indicates that if the witness is a peace officer that files a faulty report, lies under oath, or knowingly engages in other false statements, they may serve up to a year in the county jail or up to 3 years in a state prison.

When an individual has been wrongfully convicted, obtaining the services of a criminal defense attorney is recommended. If it is determined that this individual is innocent of all charges, then they may be able to seek reparations for the time period they were incarcerated. Furthermore, a criminal attorney will be able to provide information and counsel on these and related matters.

If the wrongfully accused individual lost custody of their children, for example, working with family law attorneys to restore child visitation rights or custody may be necessary. Family law attorneys may also be required to address other issues that arose, such as legal separation or divorce, while the innocent party was incarcerated.

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