Wrongful convictions are an unfortunate reality in Oklahoma and across the country. When a person is wrongfully convicted of a crime that they did not commit, achieving real justice in the case can be difficult. According to a 2020 study by the National Registry of Exonerations, the majority of wrongful convictions are the result of police misconduct. Here are three of the most common forms of police misconduct that have led to many wrongful convictions.
#1: Concealing evidence
Hiding evidence that could help in a criminal defense case is a common practice by corrupt law enforcement officers. The NRE study found many examples of cases where key pieces of evidence were concealed from court proceedings. Some of that evidence included:
• Medical records of alleged victims
• Statements from alleged victims
• Pertinent history of alleged victims
#2: False claims of assault
False claims of assault are another common form of police misconduct that can lead to false convictions. This typically happens when a police officer claims that an individual assaulted them during a confrontation. In many cases, police brutality was actually what led up to false charges of assault on a police officer.
#3: Violent interrogations
Many false convictions are caused by false confessions. A false confession is often the result of an interrogation that could be legally considered torture. Although violent interrogations have become less common in recent decades, they may still happen in areas where police departments are not required to record themselves.
Disputing a wrongful conviction
If you were falsely convicted of a crime, you will need to appeal the case in order to have your conviction overturned. The appeal process may allow you to challenge the validity of your trial and question some of the evidence that was presented.