Picking up the Breadcrumbs

  • Criminology, psychology, sociology, political science- humanities
    • Look at these topics and how they connect to being truly free or the theory of still being guilty after being innocent
  • “In many cases state laws prevent even the publication of an accuser’s name, thus making the defender’s job to prove his innocence even more difficult.”
    • This relates to my question of evidence being enough to convict people, even if they are innocent finding proof will be hard. If they have to prevent the publication of an accuser’s name, then how is that fair for the other person. In this I question how our right to a “fair” trial is really fair.


  • First the immemorial rule that no man could be tried twice for the same crime was abrogated in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence case and the subsequent, egregious Macpherson Report, a low point in the extensive history of British official moral cowardice.

This really hits home with my question on evidence, this article talks about how you cannot be tried twice but I don’t understand why we should even have to ask for a second trial because there should be enough evidence during the first trial that the suspect should be tried correctly.


  • In the case of Stephen Lawrence, the police didn’t have evidence to being with except for a letter that someone had left in the family’s telephone box. “Enough” evidence was found to convict a suspect yet the suspect was released because of “insufficient evidence,” only to find out after 10 years the suspect was truly guilty.


  • “But Healy was never convicted of a crime. He was merely named an “unindicted co-conspirator,” with no chance to clear his name except by initiating some kind of lawsuit against the government, which has much more money to spend on lawyers than he does.

The innocence mantra has been gradually eroded by compromises such as these, but there are many more instances that could be cited.” http://www.journalinquirer.com/opinion/editorials/remember-it-s-innocent-until-proven-guilty/article_db43bf80-ae1b-11e4-b0a0-bbb81d52fe0c.html

  • People are innocent yet they cannot clear their name from those convictions because it is hard but why?
  • How sad and how contrary to our whole judicial philosophy is the need for the accused to prove his innocence instead of the burden being placed on the prosecution to prove his guilt.


  • Powerful statement that I thought related to evidence and how this statement proves that there isn’t enough evidence to convict someone even when we think there is
  • A recurring theme in the White Paper on Crime consultation process has been the relationship between the criminal justice system and the community it serves. It is widely accepted that combating crime requires the input of ordinary citizens and communities. At the same time, the public rightly has expectations of the criminal justice system and its general capacity to protect communities and to deal with offenders. The commitment in the Programme for Government to enact legislation to strengthen the rights of victims of crime and their families is particularly relevant in this regard.

Key overall components of a fair and credible system are:

  • Effectiveness in detecting, deterring and punishing offending behavior
  • Fairness to all involved including victims, witnesses and accused
  • Efficiency in the use of time and resources
  • Transparency and prompt service delivery

Media and Awareness of Crime

  • media naturally plays an important role in shaping people’s awareness of crime and criminal justice issues
  • It is often suggested that this can distort people’s perception of crime
  • This can create the impression that the incidence of these events or the risk of becoming a victim is higher than might actually be the case
  • It is also suggested that by emphasizing and overstating some types of serious crime, crime coverage fuels punitive tendencies in the debate on crime.
  • A further criticism is that some coverage may reinforce the stigmatization of certain groups or communities.
  • It may be that modern media produces more frequent, more graphic and visual, and hence more emotive, representations of crime


  • I found this information to take me into “the rabbit hole.” At first I didn’t think this really had anything to do with our inquiry question but now I see that many things influence whether someone is judged as innocent or guilty, by the public.
  • Once charges are published and sensationalized, however, the individual is considered “guilty” by many readers and has his or her reputation tarnished. This practice also takes its toll on related family members


  • This article related very much to my inquiry question about people who are set free really being set free or do people still believe they will always be guilty.
  • “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

— Malcolm X

the media give all the details of the crime in such a way that for most people there is no other conclusion than the person is guilty.

They are usually huffy about any criticism since everyone knows that when someone is arrested, they are guilty.

The jury pool is contaminated by the media framing the story from the prosecution’s point of view

Further, as some of us remember, there have been several seemingly iron-clad cases against citizens that subsequently turned out to be incorrect. What is remembered is that the person was handcuffed and perp-walked into the jail on nighttime television. It is rarely remembered that the person was really innocent.

No exculpatory evidence is mentioned



  • This article questions the influence on media and how that influences our opinions on a suspect from the start. We make judgments that affect the person for the rest of their life.
  • Call for submission on exculpatory evidence
    • Prior to this decision, several federal circuit courts3 and district courts4 recognized a duty on the part of the prosecutor to introduce exculpatory evidence


  • Exculpatory evidence seems biased in a way because if the suspect doesn’t find evidence to prove his innocence than their innocence is questionable. This doesn’t seem fair because if they are truly innocent then there probably won’t be much evidence to bring to the table, unless they have really good alibis to prove their innocence. I question this is “fair” for everyone.

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