Banks pleaded guilty to a crime that he did not commit because he was afraid to put the case to a jury based on his fear that the jury would convict him solely based on race. Since then he has become a spokesman for the California Innocence Project, which works to exonerate the wrongly accused. This is an example of a person who pleads guilty to a crime he/she did not commit for fear that the punishment will be worse if he/she were to proceed to trial and he is now a professional football player.
No Crime Was Actually Committed, Yet Some Still Plead Guilty Based on Fear
According to the article, in about half of the exonerations in 2015 no crime was actually committed by the person put behind bars, yet another record according to the report. Most of these cases involved drugs; but some included homicide and arson.
Flawed Forensic Evidence – More Prevalent Than Previously Realized
Those of us who defend DUI charges have come to realize that crime lab errors are common. Many of last year's exonerations involved flawed or invalid forensic evidence.
According to the Innocence Project, improper forensic science is a leading cause of wrongful convictions. Too often, the group says, forensic experts speculate when they testify, asserting conclusions that stretch the science. Further, some forensic techniques are not backed by the research, but are still presented to juries as fact. That defense attorneys are sometimes precluded from venturing into this subject matter in trial leads to erroneous convictions.
The FBI has admitted that from 1972 to 1999, almost every examiner in the bureau's elite forensic sciences unit gave flawed testimony in nearly every trial in which they presented evidence. Forensic fields like ballistics, bloodstain pattern identification and footprint and tire print analysis, have been “long accepted by the courts as largely infallible,” Kozinski said in his paper, arguing that the techniques should be viewed by juries with skepticism.