Wrongful Convictions and the Utilization of Eyewitness Accounts

Wrongful Convictions and the Utilization of Eyewitness Accounts

Criminal Justice

 

CJ 266

In today’s society many people who have not committed any crime have been imprisoned for poorly acknowledging victims or witnesses. There have also been ethical problems within the field of criminal investigation giving erroneous convictions based on corrupt or false alignments. The ethical duty of applying the law must be addressed in its consideration and responsibility requirements to avoid erroneous convictions based on false acknowledgments.

Many law enforcement officials of the criminal justice system are honest and ethical, as there are also some officials who have misconduct related to the crimes they are investigating. These law enforcement officials who are misbehaving affect the credibility of other honest officials in a very negative way, which can lead to the destruction of the lives of those who are being unfairly accused or even convicted of non-criminal offenses committed. All this ranges from police officers who do not tell the truth at the time of testifying, as well as officers who fabricate, destroy or conceal evidence or officers who have interfered with or influenced witness identifications and confessions made by suspects. There have been many problems related to the misconduct of police officers that have ended in an unjust conviction.

The identification of eyewitnesses is considered one of the most reliable forms of evidence, but in turn is considered the main cause of wrongful convictions, which actually represents about 75% of the convictions voided by DNA tests. According to studies, a third of the cases that claimed to have eyewitness testimony had several witnesses. There are several variables that contribute to the erroneous identification including the variable of the estimator which are the aspects of the identification of eyewitnesses that cannot be controlled by the system. This includes the scene of the crime, the visibility of witnesses and if any weapon was present during the offense. The other variable would be the systematic variable that are the aspects that can be controlled by the system, which includes the way in which the alignments are made, the interaction of the witnesses or another method of identification. The investigations propose that the way to avoid problems with the variables is that the detectives handle a double-blind alignment, so that in this way the person who manages the alignment has no idea who the offender is. It should identify processes used by the police in the description of offenders, to consider the people who do surveys and sometimes do it by mistake, other people do it intentionally or directed by the police with badly managed actions such as alignments counterproductive or arrays of photos.

There are several times when the detective interferes by sending non-verbal signals to the witness, where during the double-blind alignment most of the non-verbal communications are eliminated, since the administrator is in the same position as the witness and is not aware of the suspect is in the lineup. There are also several occasions when police officers feel that a person may be guilty of a crime and exert inappropriate pressure on the suspect to confess a crime they did not commit. This can also happen with photographs, where administrators make some suggestion to the witness regarding the suspect.

The use of inappropriate tactics by the police can result in wrongful convictions, plus they can create problems in the appeal of a case where the suspect could be exonerated. There are many people who agree that there are many outstanding officers in their work, but there are also many officers who are dishonest. Many people agree that the lack of honesty of an officer can prevent the attempt to cover up the unwillingness to do a good job or a job with bad quality, as well as the desire to convict people who believe they are guilty, for what they give exaggerated testimonies, manufactured or partially accurate. Police officers are seen at a high standard in the community, it being easier to see how false testimony can result in an unjust conviction.

I can conclude by saying that there are many honest law enforcement officers within the country’s justice system, as there are also some law enforcement officers who make unsuccessful mistakes in relation to the crimes they are investigating. In addition, we can say that these ethical problems within the field of criminal investigation lead to erroneous convictions since they are based on an alignment of corruption and falsehood. The police administration must make sure that complying with ethics is a responsibility so that mistakes do not occur.

References:

Cooper, S. L. (2014). Controversies in Innocence Cases in America. Burlington, VY: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=679507&site=eds-live

LEO, R. A., & DAVIS, D. (2010). From false confession to wrongful conviction: Seven psychological processes. Journal of Psychiatry & Law, 38(1/2), 9–56. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/009318531003800103

Meadows, Robert J. Understanding Violence and Victimization, 6th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, 02/2013. Retrieved from https://purdueuniversityglobal.vitalsource.com/#/books/undefined/https://purdueuniversityglobal.vitalsource.com/#/books/undefined/