An article published in the most recent issue of Criminal Justice Ethics explores the idea that our judicial system has created strong incentives for false DUI convictions. According to the study, it’s in the interests of forensic scientists, prosecutors and police to convict accused criminals in certain cases.
The research proposes that false convictions are a very real problem. If false felony convictions are only 3 percent, more than 30,000 false convictions would take place each year.
A DUI Attorney Will Fight For Reduced Drink-Driving Penalties And Dropped Charges
If you take nothing else from this study, it’s that you need a top legal mind to represent your interests in DUI cases. If you’re located in Lansing, Mich. or a surrounding area, the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer are here to help.
We offer more than 36 years of experience, and our clients see from day one that we take a personal interest in every case. For a case evaluation or to receive a quote for DUI defense, Contact Us At 517-487-6603 Today!
More Results From The Criminal Justice Ethics Study
The article cautions that it is difficult to identify errors in a forensic scientist’s work, because there are few checks. The article, therefore, examines what incentives forensic technicians have to support the prosecution. There is one particular incentive that should not be overlooked:
Drink-Driving Convictions Mean More Funding For Forensic Labs
Crime labs are funded by the prosecution. This is because the defense does not have the monetary resources to pay for each forensic test. Beyond the standard fees, many labs receive bonuses based on convictions.
This means that labs benefit financially for findings that warrant a conviction. Basic economic principals indicate that financial incentive is the backbone of occupational habit.
When a lab receives a blood sample from the prosecution that needs testing, it is rewarded for finding a certain level of alcohol. Forensic scientists may, therefore, unconsciously come to expect that result despite the potential innocence of the defendant. The article claims that, because of this, a lab technician is less likely to double check a result that supports a conviction but will likely double check one that doesn’t.
Many states require defendants to pay for lab fees if convicted, which adds to the prosecutor’s incentive. The article discusses the built-in reward system that offers police officers and prosecutors incentives to produce guilty verdicts in drink driving and other types of cases. It ends by calling for a structural overhaul that eliminates these incentives and possibly incentivizing innocent verdicts.
If you believe that your arrest and upcoming trial may be tainted by a false accusation or a false lab-test result, it is imperative that you speak with a lawyer that can build a strong defense. For an experienced DUI attorney in Lansing, Mich., get in touch with the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer. For a drink-driving case evaluation, Call Us At 517-487-6603 Today!