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Police misconduct and wrongful convictions

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Police Misconduct

No one knows the full scope of police investigations that involve misconduct, but court records of lawsuits and civil rights violations reveal that wrongdoing happens. Sometimes, an innocent person may spend many years in a New York state prison because the police did something egregious. Hopefully, revealing the misconduct before a trial concludes could leave a defendant with a favorable result.

The cloud of police misconduct

Instances of police misconduct might taint the reputation of law enforcement agencies. However, some officers, agents, and detectives may be in a rush to close a case and violate their oaths. Biases could guide others. No matter the reason, a police officer who violates a suspect’s rights may face legal consequences.

Among the worst things the police could do involves falsifying evidence. Sadly, many cases of wrongful convictions derive from this illegal practice. Coercing confessions or intimidating witnesses to make false statements are two ways to procure fraudulent evidence.

Further concerns about police behavior

Incredibly, the police may lie to a suspect, and any acquired incriminating statements may be legal. Unfortunately, many suspects do not fully comprehend their right to remain silent, and they may not refuse to answer questions without an attorney present. Not invoking constitutional rights could increase the chances of falling victim to police misconduct.

Suspects might not realize the police may not have their interests in mind when investigating an alleged crime. Worse, juries could return with guilty verdicts based on faulty evidence during a trial.

The court system provides a chance for appeals if the initial trial leads to a conviction. Sometimes, it might be possible to request a new trial based on new evidence. So, even someone who already fell victim to police misconduct might have a chance to achieve a just outcome.