Currently the American criminal justice system has no institutional mechanism to evaluate the conviction of an innocent person. An innocence commission would fill this gap. The commission would automatically review any acknowledged case of wrongful conviction, whether the conviction was reversed on post-conviction DNA tests, or through development of new evidence of innocence. Upon review of these cases, the commission would recommend remedies to prevent such miscarriages of justice from happening again. This paper commences with a review of the primary areas of wrongful conviction, followed by recommendations made with respect to the substantive components constituting innocence commissions. To empirically demonstrate the fiscal soundness of creating an innocence commission, data was gathered pertaining to the state of Arizona. Statements from criminal justice professionals and politicians in support of innocence commissions conclude our discussion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science