Below are just some of the issues that contribute to wrongful convictions. Beyond representing people with claims of innocence, we work with lawmakers, coalition partners, and grassroots advocates to enact changes in the criminal justice system related to these issues.
Click on each issue to learn more:
Brady MaterialWhen the prosecution illegally withholds evidence of the defendant’s innocence
Coerced Confessions & False TestimonyWhen a defendant is coerced into admitting to something they did not do or when someone lies to implicate a defendant of a crime they did not do
Criminal Cases Post-Conviction Click on the link to learn about the life of a case after conviction
Death PenaltySince 1973, more than 165 people who have been sentenced to death have been exonerated. If they were not exonerated and their death sentences were imposed, our country would have killed 165 innocent people.
DNA & Forensic Science More than 350 people have been exonerated through DNA evidence.
Eyewitness MisidentificationWhen someone misidentifies a defendant as the perpetrator
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel When someone has a lawyer who lacks the time, experience, or professional responsibility to provide them adequate representation
Official MisconductWhen police or prosecutors engage in unethical or illegal activity to wrongfully convict someone
Preservation of EvidenceThis relates to the need for states to preserve evidence post-conviction to prove innocence claims
Shaken Baby SyndromeAlthough the diagnosis has played a part in the convictions of thousands of caretakers and parents since the early ’90s, it was not reviewed by an independent scientific agency until 2016.
Race, Poverty, & Mass Incarceration Those who are wrongfully convicted are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and people who are low-income—this contributes to our country’s mass incarceration of more people than any other country.