While many judges and prosecutors are good and honest people, it is a fact of life that those who make up our judicial system are no different than the rest of us: they are every bit as likely to be biased, arrogant, or just plain wrong.
Needless to say, that puts defendants in an extremely precarious position, subject to the whims of overzealous and even unethical officials; thousands have been wrongfully imprisoned and sentenced, as well as badgered and mistreated.
In the most recent edition of Annual Review of Criminal Procedure, published by the esteemed Georgetown Law Journal, Judge Alex Kozinski reveals how prevalent and consequential judicial improprieties and errors are.
For example, many of the unquestioned truths about the legal system – the reliability of forensic evidence, the accuracy of witness testimony, the dependability of juries to follow instructions, and so on – are in fact far from solid. Mounting scientific research, as well as high profile exonerations, show that these assumptions are often disastrously wrong, leaving defendants at the mercy of bad evidence or inept proceedings.
Citing the leading scientific journal Science, Judge Kozinski points out how voice identification can be wrong 63 percent of the time, handwriting analysis wrong an average of 40 percent (sometimes even 100 percent), and hair comparisons wrong about 12 percent. Despite these margins of error, prosecutors continue utilizing such evidence, while judges continue allowing it.
With respect to jury performance, it is standard for juries to be instructed on the legal matters of a case only once, often without any written copy. In light of the complexities and nuances of legal doctrines, it is very likely – and indeed often discovered later – that juries reach verdicts based on bad instructions and misinformation.
And yet many judges and prosecutors continue to stand by these ideas and utilize them to determine fates of others. Moreover, these are just some of the ways in which judges and prosecutors are prone to fallibility. Regardless of what you are accused of, you have the right to a fair trial and a just outcome.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, turn to experienced Miami Criminal Lawyer Monica Benitez. Among Miami Criminal Lawyers, she stands out for her qualifications and unique career as a former state prosecutor – who better to defend your rights than someone who understands both sides of the system?
To schedule a free consultation, contact 786-LAW-FIRM (786-529-3476) or 954-LAW-FIRM (954-529-3476).