The Pros And Cons Of The Innocence Project

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Being wrongfully convicted of a crime is a reoccurring issue and the Innocence Project states that in the United States "since 1989, there have been tens of thousands of cases where prime suspects were identified and pursued until DNA testing proved that they were wrongly accused" (Innocence Project). Wrongly convicted individuals serve an average number of 14 years in prison before they are exonerated and 29% of the cases involved false confessions (Innocence Project). Included in those tens of thousands of cases as well as in the 29% of false confessions is the Jeffrey Deskovic case. In November of 1989 in Peekskill, New York, Jeffrey Deskovic was 16 year old high school student (Crocker Synder, McQuillan, Murphy, Joselson, 2007). He …show more content…
Jeffrey 's numerous efforts to appeal his conviction and to have the DNA reassessed with newer technology were never approved until the Innocence project took on the case in January 2006 (Innocence Project). They had the semen from the rape kit retested and the DNA was put through the databases that contains previously convicted individuals (Innocence Project). In September 2006 the DNA was matched to previously convicted murderer, Steven Cunningham, who was presently serving a prison sentence for the death of his girlfriend 's sister (Innocence Project). This resulted in Cunningham confessing to the murder of Angela and well as Deskovic being released from prison after being wrongfully convicted for 16 years of his life (Innocence Project). Deskovic took legal action for compensation for the years he had wrongfully served and received $40 million dollars (Bandler, 2014). The courts found that the investigator who issued the polygraph on Deskovic, who is no longer an investigator, fabricated evidence against Deskovic as well as coerced a false confession from him (Bandler, 2014). How did Jeffrey, an innocent 16 year old high school student, suddenly become found guilty of a crime that he did not …show more content…
After Deskovic was exonerated he began accepting offers to speak at engagements to tell his story of being wrongfully convicted (Candler, 2013). He later enrolled in college and earned a degree in criminal justice and wrote newspaper columns about what he has been through (Chandler, 2013). He eventually earned his Master 's Degree in Criminal Justice in 2013 (Chandler, 2013). Deskovic used some of this compensation money to start the "Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice" (Chandler, 2013). This foundation helps exonerate individuals who have been convicted of a crime that they had no part of (Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, 2014). They also help exonerates reintegrate into society after being imprisoned for often a number of years for a crime they did not commit (Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, 2014). They do this by helping fix broken lives, reconnecting them with lost family, teaching new technologies that may have came out while they were imprisoned, help deal with psychological effects of being imprisoned and help find them housing options if needed as well as employment (Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, 2014). In addition, the foundation also seeks to educate the law makers as well as the public on reforms on laws that are needed in order to help prevent wrongfully convictions (Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, 2014). Some of these include prohibiting the misuse of polygraphs, video record

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