Thursday, June 5, 2008
Manhattan attorney Bernice Leber, named president of the 74,000-member [New York State Bar] association on Monday, says that for every wrongful conviction that surfaces, unknown numbers of others remain unfairly resolved.
That's because most wrongful convictions have been uncovered by advances in DNA technology, while most crimes do not involve DNA evidence. Those who minimize the problem of wrongful convictions, claiming that "only" 200 exonerations have occurred (as of April) fail to grasp that fact.
Kudos, then, to the NY State Bar Association for establishing a task force to "analyze New York cases that led to wrongful convictions and hold hearings." Those states that have not done so should conduct their own studies to suggest means of assuring that their criminal justice systems do not convict the innocent. [Mark Godsey]