Exculpatory evidence (evidence that proves innocence) brought up after a criminal trial was concluded often does not lead to exoneration. The burden of proof that is required to sustain the validity of said evidence is high, in order to disincentivize hiding evidence until after a trial is over in order to overturn the result. Exculpatory evidence is often thrown out on procedural grounds, even when the evidence itself is valid. Moreover, the criminal justice system as it operates today has little to no incentive to reopen cases, for a multitude of reasons.
Most successful exonerations require immense amounts of legal leg work on the part of lawyers, witnesses, and LEOs. Evidence loses value as time goes on. Most falsely convicted criminals have no resources to pursue their innocence. Even cases that seem like simple slam ducks, where a DNA test is all that is logically necessary to overturn the original conviction, take years or decades to complete.
"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." - William Blackstone
That is, they were convicted wrongly, but still did the crime. I don't suppose we could ever find that out.
Incentives are everything, and these groups of people get paid to put people in jail. And it shows.
This misaligned incentives need to be addressed as well.
Judges, district attorneys, mayors, governors, and prosecutors all hem and haw at the idea of revisiting a case.
It isn't possible for there to be enough podcasts and documentaries that gain the public interest in a case.
well, that's a start. it has the largest amount of people in prison in both per capita and in absolute numbers.
many of those people are taking plea deals simply because they cannot afford their rights.
the primary difference between the US and other systems is that we are apologists for the US system and simply don't respect other systems and thats the only distinction.
people are conditioned to retort by comparing the US with the worst countries in the world, to rationalize why we're the best in a race nobody is even in. this is a mental disease.
they're conditioned to dismiss flaws by saying "but at least we can talk about it", deflecting further discussion about the state of the system to a comfortable imagined assurance of consequence free speech, ignoring the exceptions to that part of the Bill of Rights and the other 9 amendments in it, amongst every other article and procedural gaff
> On Monday, after 37 years in prison, Robert DuBoise was formally exonerated in Florida for a rape and murder from 1983 that DNA evidence now proves he did not commit. He was convicted partly due to testimony from unreliable jailhouse informants and controversial, discredited bite mark analysis. His case is a perfect example of how much our justice system is plagued by bad behavior.
But reading the story they link to for more detail, I didn't see any obvious description of misconduct or bad behavior.
Yes, bite mark analysis is considered mostly bogus now, but that is a fairly recent development. In 1983 it was widely accepted.
And yes, jailhouse informants can be unreliable. They can also be reliable. Just like any other kind of informant. Or any other person who testifies. That's why the defense gets to cross examine them, and it is left up to the jury to decide if a given one is reliable or unreliable.
BTW, don't infer from the apparent weakness of the article's example that the underlying report the article is based on, from the National Registry of Exonerations, is weak. The example from the article is not from the report.
The report does contain a few examples, so I find it odd that the article did not use one of them.
Ultimately, yes, the number of criminals would decrease dramatically if people are no longer prosecuted for crimes but does not mean crimes would decrease.
The US has a crime policy problem. It locks up more people than any country in the world (including some very nasty regimes) and it's not making it a safer place. People enter the system when they are teenagers and from there it's basically a life of crime that is hard to escape.
It's actually a very cynical system if you look at the financials, lobbying, and politics around this. Some jail operators are private companies valued at billions of dollars on Wall Street. Lots of manufacturers rely on inmates producing stuff for them for next to nothing. It's essentially a modern form of slavery. There is a lot of lobbying around increasing spending on locking people up while still rolling off a lot of the cost on tax payers. The same lobbies are also putting pressure on the legal system to be "more efficient" which boils down to eroding people's rights to due process and fair treatment. A lot of the positions in the legal system are actually political positions so you get a lot of successful politicians that bootstrap their careers basically being lobbied to be tough on crime as a prosecutor, judge, etc.
It's also a racial problem in some states that have a majority black and latino population. Excluding people with criminal records from being able to vote is basically perpetuating an apartheid system where the demographics of the state are not reflected in its elected bodies. When those same states have predominantly right leaning "tough on crime" type politicians, it's easy to see the incentives politicians have looking the other way rather than addressing the core problems.
Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you mean, but wouldn’t the trafficked person and person stolen from be the victims in those scenarios?
I don’t believe “victimless crime” typically refers to things like trafficking and theft — I’ve heard it more commonly used to refer to so-called “social ills” like petty drug dealing, public intoxication, and graffiti.
Petty crimes and public intoxication contribute to the broken windows social theory.