4 Reasons Why Wrongful Convictions Occur

When you have been wrongfully accused of a sex crime, your innocence doesn’t guarantee that your case will result in a successful outcome. Your first step should be to obtain the best legal representation you can afford. At The Rickman Law Firm, a sexual assault defense attorney in Tampa can provide you with aggressive defense.

In this brief article, a criminal defense attorney will discuss four reasons why wrongful convictions occur. Remember, if you have been falsely accused of a crime, never settle for inferior defense. Consult a rape defense attorney in Tampa.  

An Organization Devoted to Criminal Justice Reform

Founded in 1992, the Innocence Project is dedicated to the exoneration of wrongfully convicted prisoners. By utilizing breakthroughs in DNA testing, the organization’s mission is to free wrongfully imprisoned men and women and reform the criminal justice system. With hundreds of exonerees released to date, there are several shortcomings in the criminal justice system that have resulted in these wrongful convictions.

Eyewitness Testimony

70 percent of the wrongful convictions associated with the Innocence Project’s exonerations involved false eyewitness testimonies. When a suspect is misidentified, valuable time is lost during the investigation as the perpetrator is not being sought out. Unfortunately, eyewitness identification remains a common investigation tactic that law enforcement utilizes. Whether it’s a poor composite sketch rendering, cross-racial misidentification, or a coerced police precinct lineup, the end result is that an innocent person is being misidentified.

Forensic Science

There are many ways that forensic science can be misapplied by law enforcement. 44 percent of the wrongfully convicted exonerees were falsely found guilty of a crime they did not commit because of misapplied forensic evidence. In many cases, the forensic expert can embellish the accuracy of the testing procedure during their testimony. Also, mistakes can be made during the testing or collecting of evidence. From erratic methods to not enough scientific data to support the accusations, forensic science is less fallible than most jurors realize.

False Confessions

Although the idea of confessing to a crime you did not commit may sound like a stretch, for decades, law enforcement has utilized an effective interrogation technique that has resulted in countless wrongfully accused individuals falsely confessing. Whether the suspect is under the age of 18, has a lower-than-average IQ, or mentally breaks down, false confessions occur for a variety of reasons.


Jailhouse informants have been utilized in countless cases and are another leading cause of wrongful convictions. The “snitch system” has proven time and again to be an unreliable form of testimony in criminal cases and has lead to many wrongful convictions. Typically, informants receive a shorter sentence or reduced charges if they cooperate with law enforcement.

For a free consultation with a sexual assault defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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