Investigating Innocence: The Emerging Role of Innocence Projects in the Correction of Wrongful Conviction in Australia
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DNA technology has uncovered the significant problem of wrongful conviction in the United States. Australians tend to have great faith in our criminal justice system; however, innocent people have also been wrongly convicted in this country. As a society, we must never become complacent about our criminal justice system: we must continually address areas likely to be relevant to the incidence of wrongful conviction, and we need mechanisms for the proper review of claims of innocence. Following in the footsteps of Innocence Projects in the United States, Innocence Projects in Australia are emerging as a resource for the investigation of claims of wrongful conviction with the aim of freeing innocent persons from incarceration. The majority of wrongful conviction claims will not involve DNA evidence, making the investigative work of Innocence Projects more complex and time-consuming, but also a task in which student resources are particularly valuable. To enhance the effectiveness of addressing claims of wrongful conviction, adoption of legislation or procedures is required. This would include changes requiring the preservation of evidence and expanded access to the courts of appeal for persons who have exhausted their one appeal prior to investigations uncovering evidence of innocence.
Griffith Law Review
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