The Innocence Files Highlights a Texas Wrongful Conviction
The Innocence Files is a Netflix documentary that focuses on eight wrongful convictions that took place across the United States, and one of them is in Texas. One of the cases highlighted in the show is the case of Alfred Dewayne Brown, who in 2005 was convicted of the capital murder of two people in Houston. Defense attorneys are only too aware of wrongful convictions and wrongfully obtained convictions, but this documentary helps to shine a brighter light on the issue for the public at large.
The Brown Case
In Mr. Brown’s case, his girlfriend at the time of the murders confirmed that his alibi was true – he had been with her at her apartment when the murders took place. She later, however, changed her testimony after she was intimidated and threatened by a police officer who subsequently served as the foreman at Mr. Brown’s grand jury trial. Mr. Brown was the 154th death row inmate that the Innocence Project at the University of Michigan Law School helped exonerate.
The Primary Causes of Wrongful Convictions
The Innocence Files examines the causes of wrongful convictions (of which there are many) and focuses on the following primary causes:
Prosecutorial Misconduct – The prosecution team is held to strict legal standards that bind their actions and work, but not every member of every prosecutorial team is above misconduct. Further, the prosecution has a lot of cases to try, and sometimes, a prosecutor will cut corners in order to obtain the outcome desired (and presumably believed to be just). Prosecutorial misconduct can decimate a defendant’s right to a fair trial.
Flawed Scientific Evidence – Sometimes, scientific evidence gets ahead of itself and is later deemed junk science. Bite mark evidence is a prime example, and it was used as a forensic tool for decades before it was discredited. Additionally, expert witnesses will sometimes taut the efficacy of a specific type of evidence (that may be less credible than thought) that the jury may not understand but will likely defer to.
Mistaken Eyewitness Testimony – While eyewitness testimony used to carry significant weight in any trial, it has come under considerable scrutiny in more recent years. We all think our memory is piercingly accurate, but science indicates that this is not the case. We do not connect with our memories in the same way that we watch a video, and if our memories are not carefully preserved, they can easily become tainted, scrambled, clouded, or confused.
Wrongful convictions are so egregious that focusing on their sources and routing them out is imperative.
Facing Criminal Charges? An Experienced Killeen Criminal Lawyer Is Standing by to Help
If you are facing criminal charges, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is an accomplished criminal lawyer with decades of experience successfully defending the rights of clients like you. Our legal team is on your side, so please do not wait to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.