A Prescription for Criminal Justice: Embrace Errors, Then Fix Them
A sampling of the many achievable reforms now being used to help avoid wrongful convictions
Why Can't Law Enforcement Admit They Blow It Sometimes?
Because police, detectives and forensic scientists are only human, and it's all-too natural to be inexplicably reluctant to admit to – or even to see – some of their mistakes.
The Right and Privilege of Post-Conviction DNA Testing
Almost half the DNA tests conducted at prisoners’ request confirm guilt. Yet many believe that the exceptions more than justify making post-conviction testing widely accessible. And what is often fair or prudent is for Death Row inmates essential.
Litigating Lineups: Why the American Justice System Is Keeping a Close Eye on Witness Identification
The single biggest cause of wrongful convictions is mistaken eyewitness identification. Is there a better way to find the right perpetrator?
Why Fingerprints Aren't the Proof We Thought They Were
Fingerprint matching is a vital investigative tool. But despite its legendary aura of infallibility, courtroom claims of fingerprints’ uniqueness are slowly receding.
Human Lie Detectors: The Death of the Dead Giveaway
Amateurs and experts alike overestimate their ability to divine truth and deception. But when criminal investigators do it, it can be very bad news for the accused.
A Porn Stash and a False Confession: How to Ruin Someone's Life in the American Justice System
John Watkins' stash of pornography made him a look like a prime suspect for a rape in police and prosecutors' eyes. How they wrung a confession out of him and convinced a shaky witness to ID him offers textbook examples of how to achieve a wrongful conviction.
California, Carolina Spotlight Extremes of Firefighting Budgets
While agencies in California can shine a spotlight on fancy new firefighting technology, their peers in places like South Carolina often make do with much less.
Satellite, Aerial Technology Revolutionizes Firefighting
Far above the rough terrain where wildfires thrive, satellite and aerial technology is being used to give firefighters on the ground the big picture.
Arson Convictions, Fire Investigations Feel the Heat
As decades of flawed and unscientific fire investigation techniques call arson convictions into question, new recipes emerge for a system-wide overhaul.