Opinion: False Confessions Create Injustice For All
These reviews often are conducted by prosecutors whose very agencies obtained the initial convictions. To be found to have prosecuted an innocent person is, to say the least, embarrassing and not career-enhancing. We have seen special prosecutors appointed to investigate public officials for lying about personal matters. Perhaps we ought to use independent counsel more often, or as a matter of course, when prisoners bring evidence indicating that the prosecuting agency with jurisdiction over their cases booted those cases. Or perhaps an independent judge or a panel of judges should oversee the process. The problem of long-delayed post-conviction investigations or reviews by "conviction integrity" units needs to be addressed.
Fifty years after Wylie-Hoffert, our justice system does not need any more George Whitmores, Daniel Taylors or any other convictions produced by "justice in the back room."•