Most Common Reasons for Exonerations
Let Our Dedicated Civil Rights Attorneys Fight to Secure Justice for You After You Have Been Exonerated from Your Conviction
Although the criminal justice system is intended to be a search for truth, unfortunately too many criminal cases end up convicting a defendant through violations of their civil and constitutional rights. Many of the most common reasons for exonerations involve some form of misconduct or reckless error by police officers and prosecutors involved in a case. Cases where officials create false evidence or hide or destroy evidence that would exonerate a defendant usually occur where the defendant on trial is innocent of the crimes they have been charged with.
If you have been exonerated from a conviction that was obtained due to the wrongful actions of officials or others, you may have a legal claim to recover financial compensation for the harm you have endured due to your conviction. While money cannot give you back the years behind bars that you have lost because of a wrongful conviction, you still deserve to seek some measure of justice from those whose wrongful acts took away your freedom and reputation. The civil rights attorneys of Marrone Law Firm, LLC stand ready to hold government officials accountable for your wrongful conviction.
Contact us for a free case review to discuss your legal rights and options for pursuing recovery and justice after you have been exonerated from a criminal conviction and to learn more about how our firm will advocate on your behalf to get you the accountability you deserve.
What Are the Most Common Reasons for Exonerations?
Some of the most frequent reasons why a convicted individual may be exonerated from their conviction or even found innocent of the crime they were accused of include:
- Errors in eyewitness identification – Witnesses may erroneously identify someone as the perpetrator of a crime or have an inaccurate recollection of the underlying criminal event.
- Perjury – Police and prosecutors may outright lie to the court or give knowingly false sworn testimony.
- False confessions – Suspects do sometimes give false confessions, believing that they have no way to prove their innocence and that pleading guilty will get them a more lenient sentence. However, in other cases, false confessions may be coerced by investigators through intimidation, threats, or violence against or abuse of a suspect.
- False, inaccurate, or misleading forensic evidence or testimony – Errors in testing may lead to forensic laboratory results that are inaccurate or misleading. However, more commonly the state may produce experts who exaggerate or misstate the results of forensic testing, or who base their testimony on dubious or debunked scientific principles.
- Inadequate performance by defense counsel – All criminal defendants are entitled to competent counsel. However, many convicted persons are able to secure reversals of their convictions, new trials, or even ultimately their release where their trial or appellate counsel failed to meet even the minimum standards of competency expected of criminal defense attorneys. Common examples of inadequate assistance of counsel include failing to meet with a defendant, failing to perform any investigation of the case or to investigate a defendant’s proposed defenses, failing to advise a defendant of their rights or of the consequences of certain actions, such as pleading guilty or failing to file an appeal when requested by the defendant.
- Official misconduct – In addition to committing perjury or securing false confessions from a defendant, other examples of official misconduct by law enforcement officers or by investigators include pursuing prosecution despite the existence of other evidence pointing to a different perpetrator, destroying or concealing favorable or exculpatory evidence, coercing false or inaccurate or misleading testimony from witnesses, utilizing unreliable co-defendant or jailhouse informant testimony, or lying or making misrepresentations in court.
- Newly discovered evidence – In some cases, a convicted individual is exonerated because new evidence is discovered that either identifies a different perpetrator or excludes the convicted person as the perpetrator. In many cases, this newly discovered evidence includes DNA testing that was unavailable during the original trial or a reliable confession by another individual. Newly discovered evidence may also take the form of new research that shows that forensic evidence and testimony used in a trial are scientifically unreliable.
The Wrongful Conviction of Walter Ogrod
Call or Contact Us For a Free Consultation to Go Over Your Legal Rights and Options for Holding Officials Accountable for Your Wrongful Conviction
If you have been exonerated from your criminal conviction and your conviction was the result of wrongful acts or misconduct by other parties, reach out to Marrone Law Firm, LLC today.
Our dedicated civil litigation & trial attorneys in Philadelphia, PA offer a free, confidential case evaluation to discuss your rights and options for holding those responsible for your wrongful conviction accountable to provide you with the compensation and justice you deserve for the harm you have suffered.