Kosnett Law Firm

felonies Archives

Factors that lead to wrongful convictions

Not everyone currently sitting behind bars is guilty of committing a crime. In fact, there are a number of prisoners in California and across the nation that are innocent and have not committed a crime at all. According to the Innocence Project, 364 people have been released from their prison sentences after DNA evidence proved they were not guilty. Why are innocent people being locked up while the guilty parties are able to continue their lives as a free people? Flaws in the United States judicial system lead to wrongful convictions and incarcerations. While some states and groups are lobbying to remedy these issues, people continue to get wrongful convictions.

Can you rescind a white-collar plea agreement?

If you face federal white-collar crime charges in California, you and your attorney may be able to negotiate a favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor. Per Forbes, approximately 90 percent of federal defendants enter into plea agreements instead of placing their fates in the hands of a jury.

Human limitations can lead to wrongful convictions

Wrongful convictions are not unheard of in the United States justice system. In fact, a number of people who are behind bars have been found innocent after further testing showed that they were innocent of committing a crime. Even more may be wrongfully incarcerated, serving life sentences or even sitting on death row. The Innocence Project, the Innocence Network and the International Association of Chief of Police joined together to educate judges, law enforcement officers and other professionals about human phenomenon that can lead to wrongful convictions.

Teenage brains and criminal activity

While developing into adult human beings, teenagers experience a number of impulsive thoughts and engage in alarming activities, including crimes. The truth is, teenagers behave in ways that are irrational, dangerous, emotional, reactive to stress and impulsive. They have different ways of approaching social situations, solving problems and making important decisions. Furthermore, they are less likely to think about the consequences of their actions and change their dangerous behavior as a result. Although people may think of this as normal teenage behavior, there is actual scientific evidence supporting these behaviors.

Tainted evidence and scientific testing

Scientific testing of evidence can be crucial in a criminal case. However, improper use of testing and misapplication of these tests is the second most common factor contributing to wrongful convictions in California and across the nation, according to the Innocence Project. Approximately 362 cases in the U.S. have been overturned after DNA evidence proved that the person convicted in the crime was not actually guilty. In half of all cases that have been overturned due to reprocessing of DNA evidence, misapplication of forensics was involved.

Cleaning your California criminal record

If you have a California criminal record and you find that it is having a negative impact on your day-to-day life, you are not alone. Having a criminal record presents inevitable hurdles for state residents, who may find that their record follows them around, potentially affecting everything from where they can live and work to whether they can vote. At the Kosnett Law Firm, we understand just how much your criminal record can haunt you, and we have helped many clients with California criminal records work to reduce the damage their criminal records cause them.

Lineup misidentification: A serious problem

When people in California are charged with a crime, they may appear in a physical or photo eyewitness lineup. Although this form or suspect identification is still being used in many states in the nation, it has shown to provide unreliable results. Lineup procedures, as well as limitations of the human memory, have made it rather common for the wrong person to be chosen from the lineup. This may lead to wrongful convictions when this information is used as evidence in court. In some states, strict procedures have been put in place.

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