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The Prosecutor’S Contribution To Wrongful Convictions, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2014

The Prosecutor’S Contribution To Wrongful Convictions, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

A prosecutor is viewed by the public as a powerful law enforcement official whose responsibility is to convict guilty people of crimes. But not everybody understands that a prosecutor’s function is not only to win convictions of law-breakers. A prosecutor is a quasi-judicial official who has a duty to promote justice to the entire community, including those people charged with crimes. Indeed, an overriding function of a prosecutor is to ensure that innocent people not get convicted and punished.

A prosecutor is constitutionally and ethically mandated to promote justice. The prosecutor is even considered a "Minister of Justice" who ...


International Perspectives On Correcting Wrongful Convictions: The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, Lissa Griffin Jan 2013

International Perspectives On Correcting Wrongful Convictions: The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, Lissa Griffin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Part I of this Article traces the history of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) and outlines the procedures employed by the SCCRC after an application is received, with particular attention to its extensive investigatory procedures. It also describes and analyzes the standards for referral of an application to the Scottish court. Part II briefly sets forth the statistics concerning applications, referrals, and judicial decisions. Part III includes an analysis of the SCCRC’s work by looking at the cases that have been referred and decided by the court. Those cases are divided into several categories: fresh evidence referrals ...


Avoiding Wrongful Convictions: Re-Examining The "Wrong-Person" Defense, Lissa Griffin Jan 2009

Avoiding Wrongful Convictions: Re-Examining The "Wrong-Person" Defense, Lissa Griffin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article reviews the history of the right to present a defense and closely examines the United States Supreme Court's modern analysis of that right. Part III analyzes the emergence of the right to present a defense that a third party committed the crime and concludes with a discussion of the Supreme Court's recent decision in South Carolina v. Holmes. Part IV then describes the current restrictive implementation of the wrong-person defense by the lower courts. Part V argues that the constitutional right to present a wrong-person defense is being insufficiently protected under current, arbitrary standards, and prescribes ...


The Correction Of Wrongful Convictions: A Comparative Perspective, Lissa Griffin Jan 2001

The Correction Of Wrongful Convictions: A Comparative Perspective, Lissa Griffin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article analyzes the different modes in which two facially similar adversarial systems remedy wrongful convictions. Part I briefly examines the origins of wrongful convictions in both England and the United States. Part II describes the appellate processes in the two countries for correcting wrongful convictions. Part III addresses the processes for correcting wrongful convictions after the appellate processes have been completed. Part IV critiques the English process and examines whether aspects of that process may be carried over to the United States.


Themes Of Injustice: Wrongful Convictions, Racial Prejudice, And Lawyer Incompetence, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1993

Themes Of Injustice: Wrongful Convictions, Racial Prejudice, And Lawyer Incompetence, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The U. S. criminal justice system has undergone radical changes in the past generation. Crime is more complex; prosecutors are more powerful; and courts, corrections agencies, and defense services are burdened with larger case loads and tighter budgets. It is not the best of times to talk about justice. Yet, it is a subject that needs to be constantly addressed, particularly in times of crisis. The following essay focuses on some of the problems that present themselves in the criminal justice system today, including the conviction of innocent defendants, especially in capital cases; racial prejudice; and lawyer incompetence.