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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Many wrongful convictions arise from police misconduct

California has a large prison population, and a number of those inmates are likely victims of wrongful convictions. The National Registry of Exonerations has been tracking people released for wrongful convictions since 1989. In 2018, the registry recorded the exoneration and release of 151 people nationwide. They had collectively served 1,639 years for crimes that they did not commit.

Police corruption was a large source of convictions for innocent people that year due to the widespread planting of drug evidence on people in one major city. An extortion scheme masterminded by a police sergeant forced people to pay money or face prosecution for drugs placed by police officers. In 2018, 31 people were exonerated after the exposure of this police misconduct.

Disturbingly, 70 exonerations processed in 2018 involved crimes that had not even occurred. One of the people set free had been on death row for the rape and murder of a female toddler. Investigations after his conviction proved that she had not been sexually assaulted and may have died in a car accident.

False confessions accounted for 19 of the cases that ultimately proved to be wrongful convictions in 2018. Police misconduct contributed to some of these cases, some of which involved murder charges.

Police and prosecutors may violate the rights of suspects when working on a case. A person accused of misdemeanors or felonies might want legal representation before standing trial or pleading guilty. A criminal defense developed by an attorney may help protect a person from overzealous prosecution. An attorney may look at the evidence and question inconsistencies or unreliable witnesses. Legal representation might even convince authorities to drop charges or at least reduce them. If a case goes to trial, an attorney may encourage the jury to be skeptical of claims made by police.

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