According to the Innocence Project, eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing. Implementing this program is a step in the right direction to make sure that justice can be properly carried out. Submission post by Charisse Domingo
SANTA CLARA COUNTY DA PROGRAM AIMS TO BOOST RELIABILITY OF EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATIONS
By Tracey Kaplan
02/04/2012 06:40:08 AM PST
To boost the reliability of eyewitness identifications, every police department in Santa Clara County has recently begun videotaping or recording most witnesses as they pick out a suspect from a set of photos or a live lineup.
The practice, spearheaded by District Attorney Jeff Rosen, is the latest technique law enforcement agencies across the nation are using to try to reduce wrongful convictions. In the Bay Area, police in San Francisco, Oakland and Pleasant Hill are among those who also have adopted it.
But Santa Clara County is believed to be the only county in the state where every police agency from the Highway Patrol to campus officers at San Jose State has signed a protocol agreeing to it.
The Stanford Law School’s Three Strikes Project has been successful in overturning life sentences where the third strike was imposed on non-violent felonies. This has resulted in changed lives — from the defendants now freed to the families that have supported them. Now, Stanford law professors are trying to take it on a statewide level. Submission post by Charisse Domingo
San Jose Mercury News: Stanford Law Professors Submit Proposed Initiative to Limit Three Strikes Law
by Tracey Kaplan, San Jose Mercury News
An effort to limit California’s tough Three Strikes Law is gaining momentum, with a proposed ballot initiative that would reserve the toughest penalty — 25 years to life — for the baddest of the bad, including murderers, rapists and child molesters.
The initiative, now under state legal review, was carefully crafted by a group of Stanford University law professors and stops far short of the extensive changes proposed under a previous reform measure that narrowly failed in 2004.
On Friday, September 30, 2011, a California appellate panel found that Santa Clara County prosecutor Troy Benson committed “substantial misconduct” in a criminal case that then resulted in a reversal of conviction for defendant Agustin Uribe. Judge Andrea Bryan further freed Uribe, and her actions caused then District Attorney Dolores Carr to call for a boycott of her courtroom by her prosecutors. Post submission by Charisse Domingo
Justices: Prosecutor committed ‘substantial’ misconduct but defendant should not have been freed
By Tracey Kaplan
In a blistering decision that could jeopardize the career of a Santa Clara County prosecutor, an appellate panel found Friday that attorney Troy Benson committed “substantial misconduct” by testifying “untruthfully” about a child sex-assault case he handled, but ruled a local judge went too far when she freed the defendant in response. Read more here….