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Yale Law School

Conflict of Laws

Faculty Scholarship Series

Circumstantial evidence

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State Indemnity For Errors Of Criminal Justice, Edwin Borchard Jan 1941

State Indemnity For Errors Of Criminal Justice, Edwin Borchard

Faculty Scholarship Series

All too frequently the public is shocked by the news that Federal or State authorities have convicted and imprisoned a person subsequently proved to have been innocent of any crime. These accidents in the administration of the criminal law happen either through an unfortunate concurrence of circumstances or perjured testimony or are the result of mistaken identity, the conviction having been obtained by zealous prosecuting attorneys on circumstantial evidence. In an earnest effort to compensate in some measure the victims of these miscarriages of justice, Congress in May 1938 enacted a law "to grant relief to persons erroneously convicted in ...