Based on the data compiled in the NYS Wrongful Conviction Database, 35.5% of wrongful convictions since 1881 have been caused by official misconduct on the part of the prosecution and/or the police.
This disregard for the rules has led to the wrongful conviction of 91 individuals in New York State. More then half of these convictions, 61 to be exact, have occurred in the last twenty years.
According to the Innocence Project "In far too many cases, the very people who are responsible for ensuring truth and justice — law enforcement officials and prosecutors — lose sight of these obligations and instead focus solely on securing convictions."
"The cases of wrongful convictions uncovered by DNA testing are filled with evidence of negligence, fraud or misconduct by prosecutors or police departments." (The Innocence Project)
Conviction rates should never be achieved on the backs of innocent individuals. Not only does that erode the justice system but it also jeopardizes public safety by allowing the true criminal to remain free to commit additional crimes. Reform is needed to ensure prosecutors and police follow the rules and put justice first. As Sir William Blackstone stated in 1765, "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer" so is true today. Reform of the justice system is not only necessary it is long overdue.
To view the report click HERE (PDF)
To read the Innocence Project report click HERE