Wrongful convictions are the most unfortunate examples of the grave miscarriage of justice seen everywhere. A false conviction can not only destroy the life of the convicted but also adversely impact the lives of the victims and their families. Imprisoning the wrong person for crimes he or she did not commit also provides the actual criminal the chance to commit more crimes.
Although wrongful convictions are relatively uncommon, the burden of a criminal record far exceeds the duration of the incarceration. The falsely convicted are not only deprived of years or decades of their family lives and professional careers but also suffer great mental anguish and financial troubles well after their release. To make things harder for them, the government rarely expunges their criminal records, and they forever carry the mark of the crime they did not commit.
If you, or someone you love, was falsely convicted of a crime in a court of law, it is within your rights to seek compensation for damages through a lawsuit. To safeguard your civil rights and discuss options to prove or overturn a wrongful conviction, the very knowledgeable civil rights attorneys at Friedman Levy in New York City will work to review your case and ensure your liberties and rights are fully protected under the law.
Who Is Responsible?
The State that incarcerates an innocent person for a wrongful conviction is responsible for the damages incurred to the life and career of the falsely accused. The State is responsible for the difficulties the accused face even after their innocence has is established. There are multiple ways in which the State and government can assist the accused in building a stable life after release from imprisonment.
Although the exact amount for the years served remains disputed, it is an irrefutable fact that the innocent deserves monetary compensation for the time they wrongfully served in prison. The amount is different depending on the State, but a majority of states have laws in place for monetary compensation of the falsely imprisoned. The amount depends upon the number of years served in prison.
Other Forms of Compensation
Other forms of compensation include assistance in searching for affordable places of living, psychological support and psychiatric counseling, assistance in career and profession, and more importantly, the elimination of a criminal record. The government should also issue an official acknowledgment of the wrongful conviction.
Proving a Wrongful Conviction
Most cases of wrongful conviction are proven to be innocent through techniques like DNA testing, which provides objective proof. Movements like The Innocence Project assist falsely accused and imprisoned individuals in overturning their convictions by proving their innocence in a court of law. The statistics are alarming and show that these incidents are not as rare as some would like to believe. Hundreds of people plead guilty in court to crimes they did not commit.
DNA testing plays a vital role in the case against a wrongful conviction. Lawmakers around the United States are passing legislation regarding the compensation of falsely imprisoned, based on DNA exoneration. Being wrongfully accused of a crime is a grave problem in the flawed legal system of the country.