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The awful consequences of placing finality above accuracy in criminal cases

Defense attorneys hear an awful lot about the “importance of finality” in criminal cases–especially at the §974.06 stage of proceedings. What about the victims? What about the waste of additional judicial resources? There must be a stopping point! Do those arguments really make sense if the wrong person was convicted? The latest edition of The Marshall Project highlights data showing that wrongful convictions result in tens to hundreds of thousands of additional felonies and violent crimes per year. The new victims and their families suffer, and criminal justice system spends more resources resolving the new crimes. Finality is good, but only if the conviction is correct.

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