Prosecutors and Corrupt Science

Scientific evidence has made dramatic and well publicized contributions to improving the factual accuracy of criminal convictions. A 1996 Department of Justice study documented twenty-eight cases in which DNA evidence revealed that innocent defendants had been wrongly convicted, many serving substantial prison terms. Over and over in recent years, newspaper headlines have announced DNA exonerations and wrongful convictions. The 2000 book, Actual Innocence, details sixty-two of the Innocence Project’s first DNA exonerations of wrongfully convicted defendants. The Innocence Project’s most recent data reveals 212 such exonerations. Other similar projects from around the country tell the same sad stories. In these cases, scientific evidence in the form of DNA has helped reveal the truth years after a trial had produced an inaccurate conviction.

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