Every time it’s confirmed that an harmless particular person was wrongfully convicted, which happens far more often than any of us wish to admit, we’re fast to pin the blame on some evil authority determine. In line with Mark Godsey, a former prosecutor now heading the Ohio Innocence Challenge, there isn’t any such sinister antagonist, solely people behaving as people.
In his new e book Blind Injustice, Godsey not solely explains how and wrongful convictions happen, but additionally gives some comparatively easy, cheap methods to vastly scale back these tragic circumstances. As a result of he served a few years as a prosecutor in New York, Godsey has been capable of empathize with the courts whereas to additionally sympathize with the victims of wrongful imprisonment.
Most individuals upon listening to about somebody like Ricky Jackson, who served practically forty years in a jail in Ohio for a criminal offense he didn’t commit, really feel remorse for a couple of seconds with out ever considering such a travesty might sometime have an effect on them, too. Nonetheless, over two 1000’s convictions have been overturned by proof equivalent to DNA testing since 1989.
The explanations for thus many tragic miscarriages of justice are primarily psychological and political, based on the e book. Prosecutors, together with judges and juries for that matter, are human beings and thus liable to error.
Amongst such errors, Godsey contends, are blond denial, blind bias, and blind reminiscence, all which are sometimes the one so-called proof a prosecutor makes use of in his effort to get a conviction towards the accused. The e book affords numerous assessments, every of which I failed, to level out simply how unreliable all three of these ideas might be when figuring out reality.
Political components additionally contribute to most of the false imprisonments, particularly since many judges and prosecutors are elected positions. The general public fairly naturally desires to really feel secure, so candidates who’ve reputations or agendas that greater than not get the very best vote totals.
Thus, the extra convictions a prosecutor can amass, the higher his probabilities to retain his place. As a substitute of asking what number of harmless individuals he might need induced to be incarcerated, society asks solely in regards to the quantity whether or not they have been responsible or not.
Godsey, due to his lengthy service as a prosecutor in New York, understands these components. There may be large strain on authorized authorities to carry justice as rapidly as attainable to a lower than affected person public. Maybe that’s the reason everybody, not simply regulation college students and members of the family of victims of injustice, ought to learn Blind Injustice.
Godsey fashions persistence in each his content material and his writing fashion all through this e book. The harmless victims he and numerous state Innocence Tasks have freed after all don’t have any alternative however to be affected person, since they spend years behind bars.
However, prosecutors should be extra affected person themselves, and that additionally straight results in the general public. We should struggle off the human want for swift justice in favor of safety for the harmless, counting on science slightly than people to find out guilt.