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Criminal Defense Archives

Many wrongful arson convictions based on debunked science

Imagine losing your spouse and children in a devastating house fire. While trying to process this immense loss, police accuse you of intentionally setting the fire. This was the horror felt by a Midwestern man who spent 26 years in prison for a crime that wasn’t a crime at all.

Why forensic 'evidence' may not be evidence at all

What constitutes evidence in a criminal trial? More importantly, what constitutes solid and irrefutable evidence? Anyone who has seen any of the dozens of television crime dramas would tell you that forensic science is the objective truth. Sadly, shows like “CSI” are far more fiction than fact – particularly when it comes to the reliability of forensic science.

WI woman's 'shaken baby syndrome' conviction under scrutiny

There is a good reason why the accused must be presumed innocent until proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In any criminal case where hard evidence is in short supply, there could be a number of narratives constructed to explain the information that is known. But just because an alleged crime could have occurred in a certain way, this alone is not a reason to conclude that it did.

Botched criminal investigations and the damage they can cause

Cold cases are frustrating for law enforcement agencies and can be devastating to the families of victims. When a missing-persons case goes unsolved, for example, the family may suffer what has been called “dubious grief.” Until they see a body, they may not be able to accept that their loved one is gone.

Shoplifting case shows why all defendants need a good attorney

If you have been arrested and/or charged with a crime, you have a lot to lose. Many defendants make the mistake of thinking they don’t need an experienced criminal defense attorney because the charges against them are relatively small.

Milwaukee trying program to help convicted offenders reintegrate

Criminal justice reform is perhaps one of the most pressing and difficult issues of our time. Despite being the “land of the free,” the United States incarcerates more of its own citizens than any other country in the world. This is not only a problem in its own right; it also contributes to a destructive pattern often seen among imprisoned offenders.

Wisconsin man seeks compensation for being imprisoned too long

Many of our recent posts have discussed wrongful imprisonment. In many cases, individuals are wrongfully imprisoned because they were mistakenly convicted of crimes they did not commit. But there are other cases in which prisoners who have been legitimately convicted are mistakenly imprisoned for longer than what their sentence dictates.

The problem of wrongful conviction in America: Part II

In our post last week, we began a discussion about the high number of exonerations in the U.S. in recent years. In 2013, for example, at least 87 people in the United States were exonerated, many of whom had spent years or even decades in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. There has been at least one wrongfully convicted individual exonerated here in Wisconsin within the past couple years.

The problem of wrongful conviction in America: Part I

How do you compensate someone for the loss of years of their life? How do you compensate someone after wrongfully taking away their freedom? How do you compensate someone after destroying their reputation by erroneously accusing them of a horrible crime? In short, what compensation would possibly be appropriate for individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and wrongfully imprisoned?

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