With many convictions in Texas, there is a chance that the defendant did not actually commit that crime. According to research conducted in Pennsylvania, the specific odds of that happening are about 6 percent. This was determined by surveys completed by roughly 3,000 people in Pennsylvania state prisons. The study is considered one of the first attempts to determine how often criminals are incorrectly convicted in cases not involving a capital crime.
The rate of wrongful conviction in capital crime cases is believed to be anywhere from 3 to 5 percent. Researchers say that the data that they obtained could help the criminal justice system as a whole predict factors that could lead to a wrongful conviction. However, they also say that the scope of the study was limited, and they are waiting for another study based on their methodology to be completed.
Those who chose to respond to the survey were asked a variety of questions, such as how old they were or what they felt about their case. While there was some concern that the inmates could lie about their involvement in the crimes that they were charged with, only 8 percent said that they were completely innocent. In some cases, inmates said that they committed a crime but didn't mean to do it.
A criminal defense attorney may be helpful to an individual who has been charged with a crime. In some cases, legal counsel could move to have a case dismissed or evidence suppressed. Depending on the type of evidence suppressed, it could lead to a case being thrown out before trial. Other types of defenses may include casting doubt on witness testimony or physical evidence.