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Wrongful convictions threaten the safety of innocents

Wrongful convictions happen for many reasons, some of which include poor evidence based on defunct science, false confessions and governmental misconduct. It's hard to imagine that you could be falsely accused and convicted of a crime, but it does happen.

For people facing charges, it's always wise to work with an attorney, even if they're sure of their innocence. One mistake along the way could lead to a wrongful conviction and much trouble trying to straighten it out.

Wrongful convictions: Why they happen

Wrongful convictions happen because of several reasons. The primary reason is because people are not perfect. An eyewitness to a crime can still mistake someone innocent in a lineup for the person who committed a crime. The memory weakens over time, so the longer there is between witnessing a crime and witnessing potential suspects, the worse the person's memory will be.

Another reason for wrongful convictions is a result of governmental misconduct. For instance, if someone in the government wants to see someone go to prison, there's a likelihood that he or she could take steps to guarantee that conviction, even though the person is innocent or there isn't enough evidence to back up the government's case.

Finally, sometimes junk science is to blame. Science is evolving all the time, and may result in inadequate or inaccurate findings. If a forensic scientist testifies with no basis to his or her findings, it could still skew the results of the case and result in a wrongful conviction.

No one should have to suffer because of a wrongful conviction. Our site has more on what to do if you've been falsely accused of a crime.

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