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Researchers study the prevalence of wrongful convictions

Unfortunately, it is possible for a Texas court to convict an innocent person. When new DNA evidence is introduced and clears a convicted offender, however, the news is rarely publicized.

Only 3 to 5 percent of cases involving murder or rape result in a wrongful conviction being completely overturned. In cases like robbery and theft, there is no estimated range of cases for wrongful convictions overturned by DNA evidence. However, researchers from Pennsylvania have sought to lay the groundwork for research that could change this.

In a study concentrated on 3,000 state prisoners in Pennsylvania, 6 percent of inmates asserted that they were wrongfully convicted of a crime. The study, which was published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, is one of the first of its kind. The prisoners anonymously shared their roles in crimes.

Research efforts into wrongful convictions can completed in one of two ways. Judges and criminal defense lawyers can be questioned for the study. The second option is for inmates to be questioned. In the aforementioned study, researchers asked the prisoners themselves to identify whether or not they had been wrongfully convicted. According to the results, 8 percent said they were not involved in their convicted crimes while 25 percent indicated that they were partially involved.

As researchers look for opportunities to broaden their studies on wrongful conviction trends, the issue will remain under the radar for the foreseeable future. However, a criminal defense and drunk driving attorney may be able to help a person who has been wrongfully convicted. Legal counsel could have the conviction overturned if new factors come to light.

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