Published On: Wed, Aug 24th, 2016

Why Are People So Often Wrongfully Convicted?

It is something that nobody would wish even on their worst enemy. However, it is a fact that wrongful accusations are becoming more and more common as time goes on. In the past decade, it has become particularly bad, and the trend looks set to continue. It is no longer any great secret that it happens, and yet many people still are unclear as to why it happens. What, exactly, are the main reasons that people are wrongfully convicted of crimes on a frequent basis? In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the most common causes of wrongful convictions, according to data from the last decade. Let’s try and find out what is happening on a grand scale.

Why Are People So Often Wrongfully Convicted?

Image Source


The statistics are quite clear about one thing above all. The most common cause of wrongful convictions is eyewitness misidentification. This is when eyewitnesses fail to provide the proper evidence necessary to make the correct decision in court. Countless studies have shown the ways in which eyewitness testimonies can be flawed or inaccurate.

Yet, they are still routinely relied upon by many law enforcement agencies throughout the world. It’s true that, sometimes, eyewitnesses do provide much-needed evidence for a case. However, more often than not, the eyewitness’ report is either completely faulty or lacking in real detail. So why do we continue to rely on them so heavily? Perhaps it is simply because it is an easy type of evidence to collect. Whatever the reason, it is clear that we need to learn to place less emphasis on the reports of passers-by.

Bad Science

One of the greatest advancements in the history of criminology is that of forensic science. Without a doubt, this area of investigation has led to a huge number of arrests which might not have otherwise been made. But are these arrests always fair? Forensic science is the second most common cause of wrongful accusation. The reasons behind this are quite enlightening. On the one hand, the science is not nearly as clear-cut as we like to think.

Yet, most people assume that this type of evidence is utterly infallible. It has been claimed that the reason for this is because of the rise of interest in criminology drama programs on television. This, it is said, leads jurors to place far too much emphasis on forensic evidence, which besides can be faulty. Criminal defense attorneys like Wallin & Klarich might find cases being thrown out thanks to false forensic evidence.

Why Are People So Often Wrongfully Convicted?

Image Source

False Confessions

The third most common cause of wrongful conviction is false confessions. False confessions are a strange phenomenon, but a little investigation might shed some light on why they happen. It is believed that, most of the time, people make false confessions because they are covering up for someone close to them. This must take a huge amount of dedication to another person, you would think. Yet, it is a surprisingly common experience. The rest of the time, it is often down to madness on behalf of the confessor. It is clear that the authorities need to find a decent way to be able to weed out the false confessions from the true ones.