The criminal justice system doesn’t always work. It is fallible and innocent people are sometimes convicted. When that happens, not only are innocent people behind bars, but guilty people are free to commit additional crimes. Wrongful convictions can occur for a variety of reasons. Among the most common:
- Faulty eye-witness identifications
- Mistakes made in the processing or preservation of forensic evidence
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Ineffective assistance by defense counsel
- Tunnel vision by law enforcement
- False confessions
Because the problem of wrongful convictions affects all parts of the justice system, we invite judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers and law enforcement officials to come together to examine why wrongful convictions occur and what can be done to safeguard against similar mistakes in the future. Our programs on Actual Innocence are funded by a grant from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.