News 12.03.13

Innocence Project Joins Effort to Improve Investigative Procedures

The Innocence Project and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) joined the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) at a press conference today to

release a new report

urging police departments nationwide to make changes in the way they conduct criminal investigations in order to prevent wrongful convictions. 

 


Marvin Anderson, exoneree and Innocence Project board member with Jennifer Thompson, victims’ advocate, at today’s press conference launching the IACP report.

 

 

The Washington Post reported that the IACP, which lists a total of 30 recommendations in its report, will call for law enforcement to adopt new guidelines for conducting photo lineups, recording interrogations and corroborating information from jailhouse informants. It also proposes formalizing the ways flawed cases are reviewed and innocence claims are investigated.

 

“ ‘At the end of the day, the goal is to reduce the number of persons who are wrongfully convicted,’ said Walter A. McNeil, the police chief in Quincy, Fla., and past president of the chiefs association, which convened a national policy summit on wrongful convictions. ‘What we are trying to say in this report is, it’s worth it for all of us, particularly law enforcement, to continue to evaluate, slow down, and get the right person,’ McNeil said.”

 

Errors in the criminal justice were exposed in the report’s findings by advances in post-conviction DNA testing. According to legal experts, the report marks a milestone for law enforcement to correcting those errors.

 

“ ‘We may appear to some to be strange bedfellows, but in fact we all support these reforms because they protect the innocent and enhance the ability of law enforcement to catch the guilty,’ ” said Barry Scheck, co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project.

 

In the wake of convictions being overturned after flawed science was exposed, IACP said it and the DPJ should provide tools to help agencies investigate claims of innocence and resolve wrongful convictions.

 

“ ‘Any time new information comes forward that could indicate the need for redirection, justice system officials across the continuum must welcome and carefully examine that information,’ the IACP said in its report.”

 

Read the

full article



 


Download the report.

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