Wednesday, August 12, 2015

When Innocence Is No Defense

SUPPOSE someone has been convicted of a serious crime, but new evidence emerges proving his innocence. Does he have a constitutional right to be freed?

The answer might seem obvious, but it is far from clear that the Constitution protects an innocent person against incarceration, or even execution, if his original trial was otherwise free of defects. Despite growing awareness about the problems of unreliable witness identification, questionable forensic evidence and inadequate legal representation of indigent defendants, the Supreme Court has repeatedly declined to decide this basic question — even though some 115 prisoners have been exonerated from death row since 1989.
 
Now the fate of a 41-year-old man in Georgia raises the question anew.
 
More:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/12/opinion/when-innocence-is-no-defense.html
 
 

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