Study: Some Defendants Convicted of Sexual Assault Are Later Exonerated
There are few things more stressful and upsetting than being falsely accused of a criminal offense. Even more damaging is when the case goes to trial and an innocent individual is sent to prison for crimes they did not commit. A recent study from The National Registry of Exonerations determined that about 35% of the people who were eventually exonerated of their crimes had been wrongfully convicted of sex crimes including rape. Several of these cases resulted in life sentences for the falsely accused causing them to spend years in prison before being exonerated.
There are several reasons why a person could be wrongfully accused of a sexual crime:
- Pressure coming from intense interrogations can cause people to confess to crimes they did not commit.
- Inaccurate forensic evidence can lead to a false accusation.
- A need for revenge by a disturbed former lover could cause that person to fabricate a story accusing a person of committing a sexual assault.
- Cases of mistaken identity when people cannot accurately recognize the individual who committed the sexual assault.
- A false accusation from a young, seemingly vulnerable person can cause people to rush to judgment against an accused attacker.
- If proven, victims of sexual assault are often entitled to compensation. Monetary awards can play a role in motivating people to falsely accuse others of committing serious crimes.
The negative effects of being wrongfully convicted of a sex crime are far-reaching. Even after exoneration, people can be plagued with serious problems such as post-traumatic stress syndrome, paranoia, inability to trust, changes in behavior towards family members, loss of relationships, fear of all authority, and in some cases an over-riding need for revenge. Although former prisoners are exonerated, they are still considered “ex-cons” and are subject to inaccurate and unfair judgments by people around them.
Finding a job after imprisonment is extremely difficult. Currently, there are only 18 states that compensate people who have been falsely convicted of a sexual crime. The states that compensate wrongfully accused individuals offer limited dollars and often times the money runs out before the falsely accused are prepared to independently support themselves. Many people require psychological counseling in order to cope with life after serving time for a sexual crime they did not commit, but many cannot seek counseling due to financial restrictions.
Cherry Hill Criminal Defense Lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, Defends Those Wrongfully Accused of Crimes in New Jersey
If you have been charged with a crime you did not commit, it is essential that you immediately secure the help of an experienced and skilled Camden County criminal lawyer. Jill R. Cohen, Esq. offers caring, personal attention to each of her clients. Ms. Cohen has successfully defended countless clients accused of sexual assault in New Jersey in Camden City, Cherry Hill, Mt. Holly, and throughout Burlington County, Salem County, Cumberland County and Mercer County. Call the Camden County criminal lawyers for sex crimes today or submit an online contact form to set up your free consultation.