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Wrongful Conviction

Wrongful Conviction Happens. Turn to Our Criminal Lawyers for Help Undoing the Damage

The American criminal justice system was designed to ensure that anyone accused of a crime will receive a fair trial. Yet, it’s an unfortunate reality that it’s more than a rare exception for innocent people to be convicted of crimes they did not commit—this tragedy occurs with some degree of regularity. According to the Innocence Project, studies reveal that up to 5% of incarcerated individuals in the U.S. are innocent. To put that into perspective, let’s say that if only 1% of prisoners are innocent, that would still translate to more than 20,000 people who are currently imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. Since 1989, post-conviction DNA testing has led to the exoneration of more than 250 people in 34 states. An even greater tragedy than the fact that anyone should ever be sent to prison for a crime they did not commit is the average time that the person will spend in prison before being released, if that actually happens. On average, an innocent person will spend more than 13 years of their life in prison.

It Takes Powerful Legal Representation to Overcome the Flaws that Allow Wrongful Conviction

How does this happen? There are a number of failures that occur, and they build upon each other to the extreme disadvantage of the defendant. Many wrongful convictions are the result of eye-witness identification. In such cases, the eye witness claims to be 100% certain about who, and what, they have seen, but they are wrong. Why would someone do that? It comes down to psychological factors and trauma. For instance, one’s perception can be powerfully influenced by the trauma associated with the crime itself. Being threatened or intimidated with a weapon causes a phenomenon known as “weapon focus” in which the witness is so focused on the weapon itself that their recall of the person’s appearance is partially or completely obscured. Cross-racial identification can also adversely impact a witness’s perception. Psychological studies have established that people can have a difficult time accurately identifying those from other races. Some studies have even shown that when a white eye-witness is asked to describe an armed robber, an alarming number will describe a person of color as being in possession of the weapon when, in fact, the robber was actually white.

While eyewitnesses contribute strongly to such identification errors, law enforcement isn’t blameless, either. Oftentimes, law enforcement will cast a wide net when building a case, and then leave it to DNA testing to clear the innocent. Besides the obvious problems involved when you are the one who has been wrongly accused, arrested, and tasked with defending yourself against eyewitnesses and an entire investigative unit, when DNA testing doesn’t apply in your type of case, you are left with few options other than desperately trying to prove yourself innocent. This is a highly flawed method on the part of law enforcement, especially when one considers that suspects were excluded in approximately 25% of cases where DNA testing was performed by the FBI as part of the investigative process.

Then there are the lawyers to consider—both prosecutors and defense attorneys. Prosecutors do not want to retrace their steps once a case has been established, and they are even less likely to do so once a person has been convicted. It requires tremendous effort and pressure to secure a new trial, exoneration, and release when one has been wrongfully convicted. In addition, defendants often receive substandard representation from the attorney they chose or from the attorney assigned to their case.  Attorneys sometimes do not do the job they should either out of laziness, inexperience or insufficient budgets.  Ineffective assistance of counsel and more particularly failing to investigate a matter, is most often the reason convictions are reversed.

For the Wrongfully Convicted, There Is Hope

If the justice system has failed you or someone you love, Decker & Jones takes on such cases with skill, perseverance, and a desire to reveal the truth. We have successfully worked to have life sentences reversed and new trials granted. It’s important to understand that there are strict time frames within which such actions must be filed—usually, within three years from the date of conviction. It’s imperative to begin the process as soon as possible. Contact Decker & Jones in Denver or Golden, CO when you need an accomplished legal team to right the wrongs when the justice system has worked against you.

Contact Decker & Jones Today for a Free Consultation

To benefit from decades of combined legal experience in family law and criminal law that is available at Decker & Jones, simply fill out the convenient online contact form or call our Golden or Denver offices at 303.279.1586. When you contact Decker & Jones to schedule a free initial consultation and learn about the legal options available to you, your call will be returned within two hours. We accept credit cards and can also create payment plans for our clients in need. Contact Decker & Jones today for your free consultation. Even if you don’t choose to retain our services, you will come away from the consultation with a better understanding of what you’re facing with regard to your legal situation.

Decker & Jones

Decker & Jones - Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

GOLDEN OFFICE

Golden, CO
303-573-5253 - Phone
303-573-5257 - Fax

DENVER OFFICE

226 West 12th Avenue
Denver, CO 80204

303-573-5253 - Phone
303-573-5257 - Fax

Golden Law Office
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