When most people think of victims, they usually do not think of victims of the criminal justice system. As you learned from this week’s reading, however, the criminal justice system does in fact create victims when the people entrusted by the system are corrupt, make careless errors, or otherwise take action that causes harm to people in the system. Examples of people who are victimized by the criminal justice system include victims of wrongful convictions, victims of police brutality/excessive use of force, and victims of botched executions.
Your text identifies three types of injustice that create victims by criminal justice professionals: (1) inadvertent justice; (2) deliberate victimization; and (3) overzealous prosecutors. For this discussion, select one case of wrongful conviction from the Witness to Innocence website, briefly describe the case to the class, and identify which of the three types of injustice identified above you believe led to the wrongful conviction—and support your view with facts from the case. Everyone must choose a different exoneree; it is your responsibility to ensure that you are not writing about the same exoneree as someone who posted before you.
The Witness to Innocence death row exonerees website is available here: https://www.witnesstoinnocence.org/exonerees. If you scroll down on the page you will see arrows that take you to more pages of exonerees you can choose from. In some cases, you may be able to find additional information on the exoneree you selected by visiting the National Registry of Exonerations website and finding your exoneree’s name and biography in their database. The page where you can search for exonerees by name on the Exoneration website is available here: http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/browse.aspx.
In sum, your main post of 200 words or more needs to address the following:
Identify an exoneree from the Witness to Innocence website and share the name with the class. Review the discussion board before posting to ensure you are not writing about an exoneree a classmate has already discussed.
Provide a brief overview of the exoneree’s case, explaining what the exoneree was convicted of and how/why this individual was eventually exonerated.
How long was this individual in prison?
Explain whether you believe the facts of this case demonstrate injustice by the criminal justice system due to (1) inadvertent justice; (2) deliberate victimization; or (3) overzealous prosecutors. Provide evidence from one or both of the websites provided above to justify your response. You may choose more than one of the forms of injustice identified, but you must justify each one with evidence from the exoneree’s biography on one or both of the pages.
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