Public Policy of Crime and Criminal Justice

The final paper will discuss the premises of wrongful convictions and why it should be seen by the government as one of the most critical issues that are inherent in the current legislation. The basis of research on the issue of wrongful convictions will be supported by this particular article because the author was able to address this criminal justice misconception from a number of perspectives and defined police misconduct as one of the key factors that contribute to the increased number of wrongful convictions.

Both the hypothesis and the basic premise of the author revolve around the fact that innocent people are the most common target when it comes to wrongful convictions that were committed through the fault of the law enforcement officers (Covey, 2013).

The ideas of the author of this article also interconnect with the concepts that were discussed by Garoupa and Rizzolli (2012) because the discussion of the latter not only presupposed that wrongful convictions lowered deterrence, but also proved that police officers are not strangers to the substitution of evidence or falsification of testimonies. They also believed that an increased number of wrongful convictions would have a positive impact on the society due to increased deterrence and public exposure to the outcomes of crime and punishment (Marion & Oliver, 2015).

After comparing the previous exemption studies to the current mass exoneration reports, Covey (2013) recommended making two critical modifications. First, he argued that the number of guilty pleas has increased significantly, so it is important to review the process of criminal conviction. According to the findings of Covey’s (2013) study, almost 90% of all cases ended up with the innocent defendants pleading guilty.

Second, he advocated for the fact that wrongful convictions cannot protect the guilty by means of innocent guilty pleas. The effects of these recommendations are not expected to impact the criminal justice system right away. One of the reasons is the flexibility of constitutional rules that is recurrently abused by the police so as to cover the acts of corruption or noncompliance with the rules mentioned above.

It is safe to say that wrongful convictions are directly dependent on the attitudes of police officers and their probable misconduct. The key problem, in this case, consists in the fact that the individuals that were wrongfully convicted due to police misconduct are more at risk of being exposed to the adverse limitations of the existing criminal justice system (Mallicoat, 2016). For instance, the evidence shows that such convictions are not prevalent and they are rather trivial if compared to the cases that involved the DNA exoneration or any other cases that are similar to those mentioned above.

Wrongful convictions that are connected to police misconduct usually revolve around guns, drugs, resisting arrest, or belligerent behavior aimed at the police officers (Kent & Carmichael, 2015). There is an incalculable number of people who were wrongfully convicted on the basis of such indictments. We may not know the percentage of those actually innocent individuals that were wrongfully convicted, but it is evident that police misconduct gives rise to wrongful convictions.

The effect of the author’s recommendations on social justice can be characterized as a reduced occurrence of perjury inherent in the wrongful conviction cases. Even though the forgery of testimonies receives a lot of attention, this issue is still one of the key contributors to the overall number of wrongful convictions. Reforming the criminal justice apparatus should become one of the top priorities of the current government due to the irreducible occurrence of police misconduct and subsequent wrongful convictions.


Covey, R. (2013). Police misconduct as a cause of wrongful convictions. Washington University Law Review, 90(4), 1133-1189.

Garoupa, N., & Rizzolli, M. (2012). Wrongful convictions do lower deterrence. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 168(2), 224-231. Web.

Kent, S., & Carmichael, J. (2015). Legislative responses to wrongful conviction: Do partisan principals and advocacy efforts influence state-level criminal justice policy? Social Science Research, 52(2), 147-160. Web.

Mallicoat, S. (2016). Crime and criminal justice: Concepts and controversies. New York, NY: SAGE.

Marion, N. E., & Oliver, W. (2015). Public policy of crime and criminal justice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.