Falsely accused of everything from DUII to rape, Clients have told me that there is nothing more frightening than to know they are innocent, and know that the investigating officers firmly believe that they are not. False arrests and wrongful convictions do not normally happen because a police officer intends to make a false accusation. The vast majority of injustices occur as a result of tunnel vision and confirmation bias — a phenomenon by which well-intentioned police and prosecutors jump to a conclusion about someone’s guilt, and view evidence through a distorted, “guilty” lens.
Tunnel vision is human nature, so what can be done about it, to minimize false arrests and convictions? Law Professor Brandon Garrett offers some good ideas:
(1) Require police officers and detectives to keep notes about how their thinking evolves or doesn’t during the course of an investigation.
(2) Require police and prosecutors to open their complete files to the defense.
(3) Give the defense more opportunity and resources to do their own investigations.
The Dark Dangers of Tunnel Vision: Why police and prosecutors suspect the
wrong person--and then dig in
Tunnel Vision, Conviction of the Innocent: Lessons from Psychological Research.
Paper via SSRN: Tomorrow's Research Today
Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong
Now available in paperback on Amazon
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, and need skilled legal representation from a Portland criminal defense lawyer, our epxerienced legal team has been serving Portland since 2006. We will work tirelessly to provide you with personalized legal solutions and caring client service while we defend your rights. Contact the Law Office of Graham C. Fisher today for a free consultation.