Prosecutors’ “Tunnel Vision” Can Yield Wrongful Convictions: Scheck


Some prosecutors in the United States have a “tunnel vision” and won’t look at evidence indicating that a suspect might be innocent of a crime, Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project tells CNN’s Larry King. King devoted his program last night to wrongfully convictions. The show served as a preview of “Conviction,” a movie opening Oct. 15 that tells the story of Betty Anne Waters of Massachusetts, who became a lawyer to win freedom for her brother.

King asked Scheck if the problem of wrongful convictions is mostly due to overzealous prosecutors or prosecutors who merely have incomplete information. Scheck called it “a mixed bag.” He praised Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins, who appeared on the program, for his “Conviction Integrity Unit” that looks at disputed cases and decides if they should be re-examined. Other prosecutors “get this tunnel vision and they just won’t accept any contrary kind of proof,” Scheck said. Several wrongfully convicted people also appeared on King’s program.

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