New procedures aim to avoid misidentifications.
There is hardly ever a postmortem of a derailment in the criminal justice system, as there typically is when a train derails, or a plane crashes.
I'd bet many of you think you have a great memory -- that you can relate your observations clearly and accurately. But you're wrong, too. Don't feel bad about this! We are all imperfect when it comes to observing and remembering.
Nothing is more compelling than an eyewitness who says in court, "that's him" and points at the defendant. But a growing body of evidence now shows the unreliability of eyewitness testimony -- and the horrendously wrong jury verdicts that eyewitnesses produce.
In Illinois restitution isn't assured unless a freed prisoner first proves his innocence. That's right. Even if the charges have been dropped, he must convince the county's presiding judge that he didn't do the crime.
Behind each wrongful conviction lie broken lives and shattered dreams. Each one represents a serious and substantial failure of law enforcement: the wrong person locked up; the actual perpetrator at large.