Wrongful Convictions 2

Wrongful Convictions 2 - Crime & Delinquency...

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http://cad.sagepub.com Crime & Delinquency DOI: 10.1177/0011128706286554 2007; 53; 436 Crime Delinquency Robert J. Ramsey and James Frank and the Extent of System Errors Professionals Regarding the Frequency of Wrongful Conviction Wrongful Conviction: Perceptions of Criminal Justice http://cad.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/53/3/436 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com can be found at: Crime & Delinquency Additional services and information for http://cad.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://cad.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://cad.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/53/3/436 Citations at GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIV LIB on June 4, 2010 http://cad.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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436 Wrongful Conviction Perceptions of Criminal Justice Professionals Regarding the Frequency of Wrongful Conviction and the Extent of System Errors Robert J. Ramsey Indiana University East, Richmond James Frank University of Cincinnati, OH Drawing on a sample of 798 Ohio criminal justice professionals (police, prose- cutors, defense attorneys, judges), the authors examine respondents’perceptions regarding the frequency of system errors (i.e., professional error and misconduct suggested by previous research to be associated with wrongful conviction), and wrongful felony conviction. Results indicate that respondents perceive system errors to occur more than infrequently but less than moderately frequent. Respondents also perceive that wrongful felony conviction occurs in their own jurisdictions in .5% to 1% of all felony cases, and in the United States in 1% to 3% of all felony cases. Respondents, however, specify an acceptable rate of wrongful conviction to be less than .5%. Findings thus indicate that criminal jus- tice professionals perceive an unacceptable frequency of wrongful conviction and associated system errors and suggest that programs aimed at reducing sys- tem errors and improving professional conduct would be broadly accepted among criminal justice professionals. Keywords: wrongful conviction; system error; frequency; criminal justice system T he wrongful conviction of innocent defendants in the United States is a continuing concern among criminal justice professionals and policy mak- ers. Attention to this problem has come from the highest levels of govern- ment. Former prosecutor and now U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy stated, Crime & Delinquency Volume 53 Number 3 July 2007 436-470 © 2007 Sage Publications 10.1177/0011128706286554 http://cad.sagepub.com hosted at http://online.sagepub.com at GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIV LIB on June 4, 2010 http://cad.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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Ramsey, Frank / Wrongful Conviction 437 These mistakes carry a high personal and social price. They undermine the public’s confidence in our judicial system, they produce unbearable anguish for innocent people and their families and for the victims of these crimes, and they compromise public safety because for every wrongly convicted person, there is a real criminal who may still be roaming the streets (Leahy, 2003).
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Wrongful Convictions 2 - Crime & Delinquency...

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