In a world where the justice system is supposed to be fair and just, it’s hard to imagine innocent individuals being locked up behind bars. Unfortunately, wrongful imprisonment is more common than we think – with devastating consequences for the innocent parties involved. From false confessions to mistaken identity, there are several reasons why people end up in jail for crimes they didn’t commit. Here are the top three most common reasons for wrongful convictions in Michigan.
Perjury or False Accusations
Perjury is when someone lies under oath. False accusations in police reports or court testimony can be incredibly frustrating for the defendant, especially when done out of malicious intent, revenge, or a misunderstanding. False accusations often fall into the “he said/she said” loop. This is especially common in sexual assault cases.
There are many ways in which official misconduct can lead to a wrongful conviction. For example, police may coerce a confession from an innocent suspect through threats or promises of leniency if the suspect signs the confession. Prosecutors may withhold exculpatory evidence from the defense that could prove the accused’s innocence. And judges may allow improper and highly prejudicial evidence to be admitted at trial.
Of course, not all instances of official misconduct are so blatant or egregious, but they are common. It may be as simple as a police officer who fails to follow proper procedure when conducting a search or making an arrest.
Faulty Eyewitness Testimony/Wrong ID
There are a few things to consider when it comes to eyewitness testimony. First, eyewitnesses are often under a lot of stress when they see a crime. This can make it difficult for them to remember details accurately. Second, leading questions from police or prosecutors can influence what an eyewitness remembers. Everyone has biases and preconceptions that can lead to inaccurate memories and false identifications. Witness misidentification is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions. It is often connected to faulty or illegal identification procedures used by police during an investigation.
The Mueller Law Firm fights for those wrongfully convicted and their families. We succeed where the justice system failed by finding the truth and letting you know your rights and options. While you won’t be able to get that time back that was spent behind bars, we can advise if you have the option of suing for damages. Contact us today to learn more.