The Law Office of Robert D. Anderson, PLLCFormer Chief Prosecutor Of Loudoun County
Speak with one of our attorneys today.
PH: 703.297.4455 | tf: 866.752.1706

Up to 6 percent of prisoners may be wrongfully convicted

The criminal justice system may be far less reliable than many Virginia residents expect. Many people are aware of some of the famous exonerations for serious crimes, especially on the basis of DNA. These cases generally concern capital crimes such as rape or murder.

Wrongful convictions happen in approximately 3 to 5 percent of capital crime cases. However, a University of Pennsylvania criminologist realized that no similar statistics existed for other types of crimes, ranging from felony assault or robbery charges to misdemeanor theft or drug possession cases. Several researchers examined the cases of approximately 3,000 state prisoners throughout Pennsylvania and found that up to 6 percent of them could be wrongfully convicted. The researchers noted that this is an upper-end estimate, and they expect that if the real result deviates, it would be to a lower number.

Criminologists have used several methods to look at wrongful conviction rates, including questioning judges and prosecutors or, as in this case, questioning incarcerated people. While prisoners may be more likely to claim a high number of wrongful convictions, judges and prosecutors may also be more likely to claim a lower number, especially when speculating about cases with which they are not personally involved.

The potential for wrongful conviction only emphasizes how important it is that people who are accused of a crime work with a criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can help an alleged offender present a strong defense before trial and in the courtroom as well as challenge police practices and questionable evidence.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact the firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

office location

Loudoun County
27 N. King Street
Leesburg, VA 20176

Toll Free: 866-752-1706
Phone: 703-297-4455
Fax: 703-777-1815
Leesburg Law Office Map

10 BEST Law Firm 2018 CLA Badge