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Wrongful Convictions -an Epidemic of False Imprisonment?

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Grant Amount: $500,000 The purpose of the Wrongful Conviction Review Program is to provide high quality and efficient representation for potentially wrongfully convicted defendants in post-conviction claims of innocence. This program is funded under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117). Granting Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance One article states that there is an "epidemic" of wrongful convictions in America with "an average of 5,800 wrongful convictions each year." http://witchhuntmovie.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=22 Just how accurate are eyewitnesses? Did the eyewitness really see THAT criminal? Or, did he only see someone who resembled him? With the recent execution of Gary Graham in Texas, questions about the accuracy of eyewitness identifications have been brought to the forefront. Graham was convicted solely on the testimony of just one eyewitness. This one eyewitness had seen Graham shoot a traveling salesman -- at dusk and from over fifty-feet away from where she said she was standing. Her "positive" identification of Gary Graham led the way to his state-sanctioned murder. ...Adolph Beck served seven years in prison after being mistakenly identified by twenty-two eyewitnesses. Seven eyewitnesses identified Bernard Pagano, a Catholic Priest, as their robber -- until, halfway through his trial, another man confessed to the crimes. Although these two cases are dramatic (but true) examples of the mistaken eyewitness identifications that are recorded in the annals of criminal law, they surely indicate that eyewitness identification is a serious and historical problem. http://www.justicedenied.org/eyewitness.htm http://www.law.northwestern.edu/wrongfulconvictions/ This series of programs are designed to offer tangible solutions to the critical issues that are challenging the quality of life in various populations.

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