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Unpublished Paper
Stop Blaming the Prosecutors: The Real Causes of Wrongful Convictions and Rightful Exonerations, and What Should Be Done to Fix Them
ExpressO (2015)
  • Adam Lamparello, Indiana Tech Law School
  • Charles E. MacLean, Indiana Tech Law School
  • James J. Berles, Indiana Tech Law School
Abstract

Wrongfully convicted and rightfully exonerated criminal defendants spent, on average, ten years in prison before exoneration, and the ramifications to the defendants, the criminal justice system, and society are immeasurable.Prosecutorial misconduct, however, is not the primary cause of wrongful convictions. To begin with, although more than twenty million new adult criminal cases are opened in state and federal courts each year throughout the United States, there have been only 1,281 total exonerations over the last twenty-five years. In only six percent of those cases was prosecutorial misconduct the predominant factor resulting in those wrongful convictions. Of course, although prosecutorial misconduct is not the driving force behind wrong convictions, prosecutors can – and should – be part of a comprehensive solution that reduces the likelihood of wrongful convictions. This article proposes a number of solutions to reduce the number of wrongful convictions in our criminal justice system, and to ensure that criminal trials are conducted in a manner that is consistent with due process of law.

Keywords
  • prosecutorial misconduct,
  • wrongful convictions,
  • criminal law and procedure,
  • AEDPA,
  • ineffective assistance of counsel
Publication Date
April 17, 2015
Citation Information
Adam Lamparello, Charles E. MacLean and James J. Berles. "Stop Blaming the Prosecutors: The Real Causes of Wrongful Convictions and Rightful Exonerations, and What Should Be Done to Fix Them" ExpressO (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/adam_lamparello/41/