Thursday, June 7, 2007
"We have recently learned about the apparent tragedy of Timothy Cole, a possibly innocent man, who died in prison and may have been wrongly convicted of rape. Regardless of the particulars of this case, it is not an uncommon occurrence for an innocent person to be convicted. Why does this happen?
The most common cause is misidentification. A victim is absolutely sure of her identification (e.g. "I'll never forget those eyes.") The jury quite naturally believes the witness who is being fully truthful but unfortunately wrong. That may have been the problem in the Cole case.
Additionally, innocent people are sometimes convicted because of false confessions. Most people believe that an innocent person would never confess, but it sometimes happens.
Still others have been wrongly convicted on the basis of bad forensics, that is cases in which an "expert" inadvertently (or in rare cases, intentionally) misreads blood or fingerprint tests." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]