The Truth About Wrongful Convictions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Truth About Wrongful Convictions
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The Truth About Wrongful Convictions

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    1. The Truth About Wrongful Convictions

    2. Myths

    3. Facts 5% to 10% of U.S. prison population are factually innocent of the crimes of which they were convicted.* In raw numbers, that means as many as 200,000 innocent people are imprisoned. Of those innocent people, 90% pled guilty.

    4. Causes of Wrongful Conviction

    5. Eyewitness Identification Compelling evidence but WRONG 50% of the time. Techniques commonly used by police can skew identification. 6-photo spread (pick the closest match) Use same suspects photo in repeat spreads (suspect starts to seem familiar) Use composite sketch to match with suspect photos

    6. Junk Science Defective or Fraudulent Science Experts reporting inculpatory results from tests not conducted, or concealing exculpatory results Evidence based on debunked theories, such as microscopic hair comparison or bullet-lead matching Faulty DNA matching Overall high error rate in crime labs and medical examiners officesas high as 63%*! *California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice

    7. Police Misconduct Tunnelvisionpick a suspect, ignore evidence that does not fit. T&DTrickery and Deceit, manipulative tactics designed to coerce confession, regardless of truth Bottom Fishingscouring jails and prisons for snitches willing to frame suspects Evidence Tampering/Concealment/Destruction Witness Intimidation

    8. Prosecutor Misconduct Culture of winning at all costs Never let the truth stand in the way of a conviction. Poison the Jury Pool Use media to convict suspects before trial. Withhold exculpatory evidence Knowingly present perjured testimony Misrepresent evidence during closing argument Manipulate/misrepresent evidence pre-trial to coerce a guilty plea

    9. Bad Defense Lawyering Do Nothing Does not meet with client, does not understand facts, does not hire experts, does not investigate, does not review discovery, does not subpoena or call defense witnesses, does not effectively cross-examine states witnesses, does not object to objectionable argument, does not argue motions or closing statement effectively. Free or Fee Contrary to stereotype, bad lawyering occurs equally among public defenders and private lawyers.

    10. What is Truth in Justice?

    11. Board of Directors of Truth in Justice

    12. Ira Robins 40+ years experience as police officer and private investigator Best known for work in Bambi Bembenek case Developed new evidence in dozens of exonerations Speaker, radio host and frequent television guest

    13. Martin Yant Author of Presumed Guilty, a classic on wrongful conviction Investigative journalist, editor, publisher and private investigator Developed new evidence that has freed 12 people

    14. Dennis Fritz Wrongly convicted of a murder he did not commit in 1987 and sentenced to life in prison. Exonerated by DNA and freed in 1999. Author of Journey Toward Justice; speaker on wrongful conviction and justice issues.

    15. Doug Berry 40+ years experience as pharmacist 25+ years experience as professional photographer Skilled web designer Survivor of murder victim

    16. Sheila Berry 30+ years experience in civil and criminal litigation 10 years as director of DA-based victim assistance programs in Wisconsin Author of fiction and non-fiction books

    17. Launched in 1997, Using A New Medium the Internet

    18. Current Subject Sections

    19. Advocacy & Assistance Match pro bono or reduced fee forensic experts with cases Tetrahedron Committee: Fire origin and cause experts who review arson convictions Work cooperatively with attorneys, innocence projects and journalists to develop new evidence in innocence cases

    20. Past cases in which Truth in Justice has assisted Eve Rudd, Cleveland, Ohio Charged with capital murder and arson Clarence Elkins, Waynesburg, Ohio Convicted of rape and murder; served 8 years Beverly Monroe, Richmond, Virginia Convicted of murder; served 6 years

    21. Current Cases in which Truth in Justice is involved Laurie Bembenek, Milwaukee, WI Convicted of murder, served 11 years Nancy Smith, Lorraine, Ohio Convicted of Satanic ritual sex abuse of preschool children John Maloney, Green Bay, WI Convicted of murder and arson

    22. What Can YOU Do To Protect Your Family, Your Community, and Yourself?

    23. Know your Constitutional rights Innocence is no protection.

    24. Support Reforms Videotaping of police interrogations in serious felony cases, from beginning to end. Eliminate suggestive eyewitness identification procedures. Show photos one at a time, not in multi-photo spreads. Officer not involved in investigation should conduct the identification review.