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post-conviction relief Archives

Why false confessions are so common

About 25 percent of people who receive a wrong conviction either made a false confession or an incriminating statement that prosecutors then used to convict them. Why would an innocent person confess to a crime? Unfortunately, it happens all too often, according to the Innocence Project, which reports 254 people exonerated in the past two decades. 

What crimes are eligible to be set aside?

An arrest or conviction on your record can change your future, but under some circumstances it is possible to change that record. Oregon state law does not allow expungement, but the reference "setting aside the conviction/arrest" is nearly the same expression, according to the process as outlined by the Washington County Circuit Court. In essence, when the court grants one of these motions, the record of the arrest or the conviction is set aside, so that the applicant is legally not considered to have been arrested or convicted.

How common are false convictions?

Most of our nation's public school systems teach a few fundamental concepts about our criminal justice system as core beliefs that motivate Americans as a whole. Among those are the right to a fair trial, by a jury, that convicts based on evidence beyond all reasonable doubt. In theory, this should lead to a fair and impartial way of deciding who is and is not guilty. According to research, though, what happens in practice is completely different.

Post-conviction relief as an option after other avenues exhausted

Once the jury has come back with a guilty verdict and a defendant has been sentenced, there is an appeals process to go through if they believe they did not get a fair trial for some reason. Once that process has been exhausted and the defendant is still facing time in jail or prison, there is another option that many turn to. Even after a guilty conviction and a loss of appeals, post-conviction relief may provide some hope to defendants convicted of crimes. There are several options to choose from when looking for some way to minimize a sentence or overturn a verdict, and post-conviction relief may come after other avenues are exhausted.

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