In other instances, false confessions and testimony have been provided as evidence against the convicted. Wilton Dedge, a resident of Florida, was accused and convicted of sexual battery and burglary in a case of mistaken identity. False testimony was provided by Clarence Zacke, who claimed that Dedge confessed to the crime while they were in prison transport together, as well as John Preston who alleged that his dog alerted him to the presence of Dedge in the victim’s home.
The case of Maher could have been avoided had there been a use of ‘fillers’ – non-suspects dressed to resemble the eyewitness description of the perpetrator. Additionally, blind administration would help prevent law enforcers from accidentally providing subtle cues that lead to misidentification. The case of Atkins might have gone differently had the jury been sufficiently informed by the areas in which sciences can be inexact, or of all the variables of doubt that exist in presented evidence.
While hair samples and semen stains are valuable evidence, it is not without thorough and comprehensive testing that they can be held as inarguable evidence of guilt, as the innocent may sometimes overlap with the perpetrator in these factors. Finally, in the case of Dedge, wrongful conviction may have been avoided had Zacke’s testimony been properly been documented and recorded such as to verify whether or not he had been willfully bribed and manipulated or whether law officials had accidentally communicated details of the case to him.
This would have been crucial as in exchange for his testimony, Zacke’s sentence in prison was reduced, leading to potential incentive for false testimony.
Innocence Project: http://www. innocenceproject. org/index. php Scheck, B. C. & Neufeld, P. J. (2002, September-October). Toward the formation of innocence commissions in America. Judicature. 86(2). Retrieved July 8, 2008 from: http://www. innocenceproject. org/docs/Innocence_Commissions_Judicature. pdf