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US prosecutors revisiting nearly 5,000 convictions!

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posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 01:51 PM
Well, this is welcome news! There is nothing wrong, in my view, with insuring we have the RIGHT people in prisons and we have them there for the RIGHT reasons. Our system has flaws. Fundamental ones. The lack of something like this much sooner, or much wider now that it's starting?? Would number among them, in my view.

NEW YORK (AP) — When three half brothers' decades-old murder convictions were thrown out last month, they became a dramatic example of an idea spreading among prosecutors nationwide: "integrity units" dedicated to double-checking convictions to determine whether justice was served.

Over the last seven years, more than a dozen prosecutors' offices across the country have created such staff teams or expert panels to review wrongful-conviction claims. The groups have agreed to revisit more than 4,900 cases, resulting in at least 61 convictions tossed so far, according to a tally compiled from interviews, prosecutors' reports and news accounts.

We *DO* have a problem in our nation, whether we want to openly admit it, or not. We have too damned many innocent people going to prison. Not just people convicted on crimes we don't agree with. Factually innocent men and women who 100% DID NOT DO what they are in there for. That would seem to be what this is about addressing.

"What we've seen take place over the last 15 years has, I think, shaken most career prosecutors to their core. . We had to respond to it," says Scott McNamara, district attorney in central New York's Oneida County. His year-old conviction review committee is working on three cases so far.

To further illustrate the need for this or something like it to be seen in prosecutor's offices around the nation, I took a moment to look something else up.

There have been 316 post-conviction DNA exonerations in United States history. These stories are becoming more familiar as more innocent people gain their freedom through postconviction testing. They are not proof, however, that our system is righting itself.


Eighteen people had been sentenced to death before DNA proved their innocence and led to their release.
Source: The Innocence Project

So I bring this recent story as good news that a start is being made.

It is good news, and for at least 5,000 people? It may mean life changing outcomes to the %..however small it may turn out to be...who are actually, factually, innocent.

posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 02:15 PM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

The sad thing is that those men will get out as criminals.

The prisons themselves ruin people. Solitary confinement has been shown to cause deep lasting mental scars and pretty much every prisoner gets placed in there at some point or the other. The sad thing is that when these men(and women) do get out of prison they will never be the same.

What I wish would happen is I wish they'd just do away with plea bargains. That would force the majority of cases to go through trials and jury trials(expensive) which means the courts will be less likely to charge for stupid reasons.

The plea bargain system in the U.S. is a sham. 90% of cases just plea guilty because of the faulty system. That is not justice.

Of course those who automatically plea guilty are the ones who can't afford fancy lawyers.

What the courts do is they coerce people into taking pleas by threatening extreme sentences if they choose to go to trial. For example, they will tell a man that if he accepts plea he will get 15 years yet if he goes to trial he could face life sentence. The courts upheld that sort thing was was one of the lesser known and horrible supreme court decisions.

Anyway, it IS good that they are reviewing cases but the problem starts in the trial process. The whole thing is ridiculous.

posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 03:28 PM
Not impressed.
Those already in prisons are already damaged beyond repair, they will never be the same as before.
You want to impress me?
Put a camera on every person who carries a badge, camera does not work, neither do you.
All streams are uploaded to a public cloud server, where a citizens review board JUDGES all video.
Guilty thugs will be fined and imprisoned.
That would impress me.
Erasing that thin blue line.
Your partner won't fink you, your camera will.

posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 10:54 PM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

I see this as a result of the advances in technology, like DNA.

I think any new technology that has been accepted by the courts that can assist in guilt or innocence should be a requirement. Some argue its the job of the defense team to invoke those arguments.

I disagree.

The Prosecution is the one who files the charges based on the information they have. To not take the extra step with DNA, imo, undermines the goal of their office. If the Prosecution is going to charge someone with rape and murder, then a DNA forensic test should be included.

If the suspects blood / DNA is located with the victim, it strengthens the prosecution case.
If the suspects blood / DNA is not located with the victim, then they have some more work to do.

With that said there are a few major drawbacks.

Specifically how does a prosecutor get a DNA sample from a suspect without violating constitutional rights.

Either way its a step in the right direction.

posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 11:13 PM
a reply to: OrphanApology

Nice dream and all,

But in the U.S. we hate ourselves so this might not work. If we all respected our fellow neighbors as peers, as equals.. There would be no more race crime, class warfare or discrimination scenarios.

Try being mestizo in a court of Cuban Americans, Muslim in a court of Jews, a poor man up for trial for a traffic related case in a rich county.

How exactly are you to be judged by your peers when the system fails you?

posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 11:27 PM

originally posted by: BlubberyConspiracy
How exactly are you to be judged by your peers when the system fails you?

By having a group of people like these prosecutors to review cases.

Just because the system is flawed does not mean we should just give up and accept it.

posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 11:40 PM
Yeah, this reminds me a little of the Innocence Project, cases that have to be reopened due to advances in technologies, and now maybe reviews of people serving sentences for things that are becoming legal.

Maybe the justice system needs a permanent impartial review board kind of team that work for neither the defense nor the prosecution or maybe a combination of both, to review all, say, for example, felony cases in the blind up front. Judges are sort of supposed to do this to a degree, but lets face it, they're overloaded too and pretty much rely on what they are presented with.

The prosecution side, typically has a lot invested on many levels in getting a conviction and sometimes that can cloud the judgement of even the most well-intentioned people. Grand juries hear just one side when they hand down a decision and that's usually very briefly. And the defense side, well...that covers a pretty broad spectrum too.

Done. Just some thoughts.

posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 11:56 PM
a reply to: ~Lucidity

The system does have a self review built in. Once a person is convicted they can challenge the conviction based on due process violations. Lesser known is convictions can be challenged based on new evidence. All the way to the US supreme Court.

Having a system in place on the prosecutor side goes along nicely with the system in place now. A situation being looked at by the courts as well as by the people who prosecuted them as well as by the defense team.

Its far from perfect but the fact its being done gives me hope.

posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 11:56 PM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Please describe a system (judicial) that is perfect and does not have any innocent people being wrongly placed in prison or sentenced to death.


(I'll save you the time)

There is none.

And what this will do for a few is good. But what is being done to make sure that it never happens again?

posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 11:59 PM
a reply to: Xcathdra


Who reviews the challenge?

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