Whether it is widespread news stories, popular documentaries or simply a changing society, wrongful accusations have received significant attention in recent years. Yet for those behind bars, a criminal charge can come with dire consequences. It can be devastating to find that, all because of one false confession, the future is on the line. With this aspect in mind, it is easy to see why many Ohio residents who are victims to the external pressures of such confessions may decide to take legal action.
According to a report last June from Cleveland News, those who are wrongly convicted of serious crimes such as murder could see a brighter light at the end of the tunnel. A new provision in the state budget bill sought to better the system in which ex-inmates receive compensation for being wrongfully imprisoned. Although certain criticism has warned against the state’s expansive wrongful imprisonment law that could cost Ohio millions, supporters of the bill sought justice for those who are behind bars without reason. A former presented barrier — that ex-inmates will not face charges for any act associated with the wrongful conviction in the future — could see its demise under the new provision. Cleveland News adds that ex-inmates would see an increase from the current $52,625 payout for each year of wrongful imprisonment.
Ohio has seen improvements regarding its wrongful imprisonment laws, as the Ohio Senate announced the introduction of the updated wrongful imprisonment bill just weeks ago. While these plans reach fruition, the Innocence Project considers some common reasons innocent people falsely confess to crimes. The Project notes that many people in these situations feel pressure to comply with law enforcement, especially when repeated attempts to maintain innocence have failed. Some factors that can lead up to a false confession include, but are not limited to: diminished capacity, ignorance of the law, intoxication, fear of violence and coercion. One solution that has proved successful in the past is that of recorded interrogations. These taped confessions can open windows for hope when all other doors appear closed.