- 2018: A record year in exonerations
- Compensating The Wrongly Convicted
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- List of wrongful convictions in the United States
Does that mean I lose all my rights to privacy because I was accused? We deserve the same rights until the point of conviction," Mr Allan said.
2018: A record year in exonerations
R ape victims are being told they must hand over their mobile phones to police or risk prosecutions against their attackers not going ahead. Consent forms, which ask permission to access messages, photographs, emails and social media accounts, have been rolled out across the 43 forces in England and Wales. The move is part of the response to the disclosure scandal, which rocked confidence in the criminal justice system when a string of rape and serious sexual assault cases collapsed after crucial evidence emerged at the last minute. P olice and prosecutors say the forms are an attempt to plug a gap in the law, which cannot force complainants or witnesses to disclose their phones, laptops, tablets and smart watches.
Compensating The Wrongly Convicted
Mr Allan said that in his case he "did not even think to ask" for details of the complainant's phone contacts with friends around the time of the alleged assault. D irector of Public Prosecutions Max Hill said digital devices will only be looked at when they form a "reasonable line of inquiry" and only "relevant" material will go before a court if it meets "hard and fast" rules.
In , the CPS launched a review of every live rape and serious sexual assault prosecution in England and Wales and, along with police, has implemented an improvement plan to try to fix failings in the system. Some 93, officers have undertaken training, while police hope artificial intelligence technology can help trawl through the massive amounts of data stored on phones and other devices.
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I n rape and sexual assault cases, prosecutors also now use disclosure protocols previously used in terror trials. T he digital consent forms can be used for complainants in any criminal investigations but are most likely to be used in rape and sexual assault cases, where complainants often know the suspect. The forms state: "Mobile phones and other digital devices such as laptop computers, tablets and smart watches can provide important relevant information and help us investigate what happened.
Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner Nicholas Ephgrave said he recognised the "inconvenient" and "awkward" nature of handing devices to police and admitted: "I wouldn't relish that myself.
List of wrongful convictions in the United States
He added: "People who have been victimised and subjected to serious sexual assaults, for example, that's an awful thing to happen to them and you don't wish to make it worse by making their lives really difficult. Black people convicted of murder or sexual assault are significantly more likely than their white counterparts to be later found innocent of the crimes, according to a review of nearly 2, exonerations nationwide over almost three decades.
Innocent blacks also had to wait disproportionately longer for their names to be cleared than innocent whites, the review, released on Tuesday by the National Registry of Exonerations, found. Blacks wrongfully convicted of murder, for example, spent an average of three more years in prison before being released than whites who were cleared. Gross, a University of Michigan law professor and a senior editor of the registry, a project of the law school that aims to provide data on false convictions to prevent them in the future. The analysis focuses on the three types of crimes for which exonerations are most common: murders, sexual assaults and drug-related offenses.
It is based on 1, wrongful convictions from to mid-October of last year, about 47 percent of which involved exonerated black defendants. Because of limited data for other groups, the authors compared only black and white populations in detail. Gross and his fellow authors, Maurice Possley, a senior researcher, and Klara Stephens, a research fellow. When it comes to murder, black defendants account for 40 percent of those convicted of the crime, but 50 percent of those wrongfully convicted, they found.
Whites accounted for 36 percent of wrongfully convicted murder defendants. A high murder rate within the black community contributes to the high number of wrongfully convicted black murder defendants, but it alone does not explain the disparity, the authors write. Racial bias may play a role.