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SOC 3490 (25)

March 12.docx

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University of Guelph
SOC 3490
Scott Brandon

March 122012 Law and Society Wrongful Convictions o OVL sees the law as impartial equal fair wrongful convictions should never happen but OVL tries to excuse when it does happen Downplays the significance of wrongful convictions The public isnt always aware of how many wrongful cases there are especially the minor caseso Defining wrongful convictions Individual has no connection at all to the crime Convicted of a felony that they are later found innocent of Innocent but through police investigation are found guilty for various reasons Sources can vary jury selection forensics faulty DNA false convection evidence held back that could exonerate the individualo People most likely to be targetsLower classesMinorities Usually male Circumstantial issues People known to the policePrevalenceo Very difficult to pinpoint the actual prevalenceo Estimates vary from 620 of clients being not guiltyo The system becomes very adversarial and it becomes a contest of who is most believable the crown vs the defenceo Truth telling and seeking out the truth is an issue in terms of getting a convictiono There is a window of opportunity to get the wrong person periodically due to investigation methodsCauseso Eyewitness identification Used 80 of the time This is used to lead to convictions Mistakes in eyewitness identification are the most common reason of wrongful convictions The person identifying usually honestly believes it is the offender but there is problems with memory and individuals who look similar Memory recall is not reliable
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