One of our firm partners, Attorney Dan Lage, recently won a habeas case for a client. To learn more about the case and the habeas corpus trial, check out this page. Below, Dan talks about wrongful convictions and what is being done to prevent them. 

If you or a loved one feels that they have been wrongfully convicted, our office may be able to help. In addition, we can give you resources so that you can learn more about how the system is changing. While progress can be slow, there are law firms, organizations, and people who actively work towards change. 

How Are We Changing the System?

A typical problem with habeas cases is that a significant amount of time has passed between the underlying conviction and the habeas case.The intervening time may or may not have seen positive changes in the criminal justice system. So, in a case like Marquis Jackson’s, which is 20 years old now, police policy and practice looked very much different then than it might today.. Obviously, there are still hurdles that need to be overcome, but these things certainly happened on a larger scale back then. And because cases have been overturned and verdicts have been found to be untrustworthy, I think some police departments have attempted to change their policies and practices for the better. But those flaws still exist.One hopes that they will continue to identify where the problems are and make the appropriate changes.

The same is true with respect to prosecutors. Some prosecutors will now refuse to take cases that in the past they might have prosecuted much more vigorously. But that problem still exists as well. Sometimes prosecutors pursue cases that they shouldn’t. And so, we want to keep making news. We want these cases to get press and get in front of the public so that they understand that just because someone has been arrested does not mean that they are guilty of anything, at all.  

And hopefully as these cases come in and lawyers successfully correct bad convictions, more positive changes take effect. Not only are we trying to bring justice to the individual that was wrongfully accused or convicted, but we’re trying to bring justice to the system itself.