What makes for wrong convictions? Data for believers of “near perfect” forensics in US courts

The Los Angeles Times just came out today with a deeper look into the Natl Registry of Exonerations’ newest data. An excerpt , then the link.

“Imagine that the lies of others led a jury to convict you of a serious crime you didn’t commit, and it took nine years for the truth to set you free.

That’s the predominant circumstance of people whose wrongful convictions have been tracked by theNational Registry of Exonerations, which since 2012 has built an impressive database. Interestingly, in a society where infatuation with forensic science has propelled the hit  “CSI” television franchise, dogged investigation rather than DNA has revealed most of these miscarriages of justice.”

Note that the picture of recent exoneree Mike Hanline and his happy wife Sandy was taken in front of the Ventura County (CA, USA) Hall of Justice.
LA Times article

FORENSICS and LAW in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends

5_13-2015 ContribFactors copy

Updated graphs of investigation and prosecution contribution factors  in nearly 1600 exonerations proved by the National Registry of Exonerations.  (wait a bit for download, scroll down for other stats).

Look for GREEN: False or Misleading Forensic Evidence 23% 363/1597

Look for ORANGE: False Confession 13% 202/1597

Look for Red: Perjury or False Accusation 56% 888/1597

Look for Purple: Official Misconduct 46% 727/1597

Look for Blue: Mistaken Witness ID 34% 535/1597

For a contrasting opinion, you can read this.

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About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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