What causes a wrongful conviction?

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2021 | Criminal Law |

The state of Texas might have convicted someone, but that doesn’t mean that they’re guilty. In fact, research has shown that thousands of people in the United States might have been wrongfully convicted. It’s challenging–but not impossible–for wrongfully convicted people to petition for a successful appeal.

Why do wrongful convictions happen?

Some people give false confessions during interrogations. They might give a false confession because the officer threatened them, manipulated them or deprived them of basic necessities. Some people accidentally give false confessions because they don’t know that they have the right to remain silent. Regardless of whether the confession is true, officers will use it and possibly secure a conviction.

Flawed eyewitness testimony can also lead to wrongful convictions. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, an eyewitness might lie or exaggerate the situation. A judge might convict the defendant even if they weren’t involved in the crime. They could try to go through the criminal appeals process, but once you have a conviction on your record, it’s incredibly difficult to get it overturned.

Some people are the victims of “bad science.” The prosecution might use faulty evidence like a shoe print or an inaccurate DNA test to secure their conviction. Unfortunately, some judges accept this kind of evidence in court. For the best possible defense, you may need a criminal defense attorney on your side.

Are you worried about a wrongful conviction?

If you said the wrong thing or even made a false confession, you might be worried about the possibility of a wrongful conviction. An attorney could help you defend yourself by pointing out that the prosecution’s evidence is flawed. If they are able to create doubt in the judge’s mind, you might have a chance at winning your case regardless of a false confession.