A sampling of the many achievable reforms now being used to help avoid wrongful convictions
October 27, 2012 • 4:00 AM • Share
Because police, detectives and forensic scientists are only human, and it’s all-too natural to be inexplicably reluctant to admit to – or even to see – some of their mistakes.
October 18, 2012 • 9:03 AM • Share
Almost half the DNA tests conducted at prisoners’ request confirm guilt. Yet many believe that the exceptions more than justify making post-conviction testing widely accessible. And what is often fair or prudent is for Death Row inmates essential.
October 4, 2012 • 9:12 AM • Share
The single biggest cause of wrongful convictions is mistaken eyewitness identification. Is there a better way to find the right perpetrator?
September 27, 2012 • 4:00 AM • Share
Fingerprint matching is a vital investigative tool. But despite its legendary aura of infallibility, courtroom claims of fingerprints’ uniqueness are slowly receding.
September 20, 2012 • 4:00 AM • Share
Amateurs and experts alike overestimate their ability to divine truth and deception. But when criminal investigators do it, it can be very bad news for the accused.
September 13, 2012 • 9:00 AM • Share
Experts find recurring themes in wrongful convictions. And while some jurisdictions are now creating in-house review units to ensure convictions are righteous, commonly repeated mistakes continue to mar cases.
September 6, 2012 • 9:00 AM • Share
John Watkins’ stash of pornography made him a look like a prime suspect for a rape in police and prosecutors’ eyes. How they wrung a confession out of him and convinced a shaky witness to ID him offers textbook examples of how to achieve a wrongful conviction.
August 23, 2012 • 9:57 AM • Share
Cognitive neuroscientist Itiel Dror finds that analysis of fingerprint data by human examiners can be ruined by unintentional bias. But he offers some relatively simple fixes that can improve the odds of reliable results.
June 18, 2009 • 8:50 PM • Share
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Casey N. Cep