Written by Phillip Corbin.

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The findings of this piece on innocents being given death penalty, while tragic all on its own, opens up a disturbing insight to broader implications in the so-called justice system.

Death penalty cases in the US require the highest evidentiary standards and their proceedings receive more scrutiny and consideration than any other criminal case because they seek the ultimate punishment. Yet, the conviction rate of innocents is unacceptably high due to elements like: bad defense council, mistaken identifications, false confessions made under duress, faulty evidence, and prosecutor misconduct .

This makes one wonder how many innocents are wrongfully convicted in other criminal cases with lower standards of evidence because they carry lesser penalties. Unfortunately, due to the lack of information, we’ll never know how many for sure. But we do know that innocents are wrongfully convicted.

We have evidence of the failure of the justice system where:

police have tortured confessions out of detained suspects

police have admitted to planting evidence to frame suspects

– police have lied in court under oath. See article links here and here (Note: the author of this article, Peter Keane, is a former San Francisco police commissioner.) 

prosecutors have withheld evidence that would have exonerated defendants

judges have sold convictions to prison companies

forensics labs have falsified evidence in tens of thousands of cases

– and where eyewitness testimony has been used as the sole evidence in convictions despite the well-known probability of faulty identification. See article links here and here

These examples only represent some of the instances in which members of the justice system have been caught and convicted in their wrongdoing which is a notoriously difficult accomplishment.

What is the true rate of corruption in justice system proceedings? Sadly, we’ll never know as you cannot trust dishonest people to be honest about their dishonesty. Hopefully it hasn’t happened often, but we do know that it has happened, innocent people have been intentionally and knowingly convicted by the state, and that the justice system has failed to create safeguards to prevent these activities from happening in the future after they’ve been exposed.

Criminal prosecution in the US is supposed to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, this standard is hard to believe because the justice system has unequivocally proven through misconduct and corruption that the justice system used to process and present evidence is itself doubt-able.