Emerging Issues and Challenges Presentation

Causes of wrongful conviction


Junk science

Several forensic testing methods have little or no scientific validation.Such tests also have inadequate assessments of their reliability or significance. This makes forensic analysts testify in certain cases with no proper scientific basis.

Eyewitness misidentification

Greatest cause of wrongful conviction globallyWitness memory is just like any other evidence at a scene of crimeWitness memory should therefore be carefully preserved and retrieved methodically.Witness memory will be contaminated if is not preserved.

False confessions

Innocent defendants often make incriminating statements, plead guilty, or deliver outright confessions. They often think that confessing will be more beneficial than continuing to maintain innocence.

Government misconduct

Government officials at times steps in to encourage the conviction of a defendant.They often do this despite weak evidence or even if there is clear proof of innocence.


Include statements from individuals having incentives to testify.Such incentives are often not disclosed to the jury.They normally form the central evidence of convicting an innocent individual.

Bad lawyering

This may involve failure of overworked lawyers in conducting an investigation.Lawyers may also get unprepared when going for a trial hence leading to conviction of an innocent person.


Brooks, J. (2014). Wrongful convictions: Cases and materials. Lake Mary, FL: Vandeplas Publishing LLC.Garrett, B. (2011). Convicting the innocent: Where criminal prosecutions go wrong. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.