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Problem of Erroneous Convictions - Assignment Example

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The main questions of the paper “Problem of Erroneous Convictions” are:  How do erroneous convictions happen, and what can be done to prevent it from happening? Have you ever been on a jury panel? If so, describe the situation briefly. How did you feel about the process of deliberation?…
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Problem of Erroneous Convictions
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Download file to see previous pages Erroneous convictions happen because of technical ineptitude in the fingerprinting or DNA laboratory, for example, perjured testimony, eyewitness misidentification, and also because of overzealous law enforcement officers who are eager to close the case and mete out justice. A courtroom is a place wherein many evidence is presented that is at best circumstantial and are then judged by ordinary people if it works for or against the defendant—a room wherein people not experts at lie detection weigh witness testimonies. Thus, wrongful convictions are not as unexpected as the justice system is composed of imperfect human beings.
Some states wherein there is a high rate of erroneous convictions have already enacted bills to address this problem. Because the United States rely on juries to ultimately decide on a person’s guilt, I believe that there should be a seminar or lecture regarding lie detection in order to minimize wrongful convictions. The jurors should be fully aware of what their decision could mean and what the evidence signify. In this way, they can create a more educated verdict. They are better equipped to intelligently weigh the pieces of evidence and testimonies that are presented during the trial.
The polygraph relies on the physiological changes in the body, like pulse and blood pressure, to detect deception. It starts with a series of control questions to set the tone like “What is your name?” This is then followed by an explanation of what the polygraph is and what it does. Next comes the “stim test” wherein the person attached to the polygraph will be asked to lie so that the tester can see if the machine has picked up on this lie and is working properly. Then the test itself ensues. The questions alternate between some that are irrelevant, some control questions, and those that are relevant to the case. If the tester is not satisfied with the results, there is a post-test interview that is conducted. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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