Com220 Final Project Research Paper

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Running head: Final Project: Research Paper

Final Project: Research Paper

Axia College

Final Project: Research Paper

In 21st century America, can innocent people be sent to jail? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding yes. People who believe it is difficult to be convicted of a crime they did not commit may be surprised to learn that hundreds of wrongful convictions occur every year. One of many organizations looking into this alarming issue is the Innocence Project. The Innocence Project was established in 1992 and since that time has implemented significant reforms in the legal system that affects every American. The Innocence Project has identified numerous flaws in the legal process that lead to the conviction and incarceration of hundreds of innocent Americans.

The Innocence Project has carefully reviewed hundreds of cases and thousands more cases await evaluation. Most of the clients consist are poor, forgotten and have exhausted all legal avenues for relief. DNA testing has brought about tremendous change in the criminal justice system. It has shows that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events. In addition, DNA testing has revealed what went awry with these wrongful convictions so that the causes may be studies and solutions or improvements implemented. Lessons learned from 215 DNA exonerations over the last 15 years have prioritized and categorized reforms designed to improve the accuracy of our criminal justice system. The average sentence for the falsely accused is a staggering 12 years behind bars.

The first 200 inmates freed by the innocence project served an average of 12 years and a total of 2,475 years in prison. Innocent people with hopes and dreams, families and friends had their lives reshaped by a flawed legal system.

Dennis Williams and Steven Toney cannot be adequately compensated for the years spent in a prison cell. Dennis Williams was convicted in Illinois and sentenced to die in 1979...