Why Innocent Defendants Plead Guilty to Rape Charges

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The field of wrongful conviction is filled with seeming anomalies: faulty identifications by eye-witnesses, suspects who "confess" to crimes they did not commit, and unreliable testimony from "scientific" experts. As part of our continuing examination of wrongful conviction in rape cases, we have identified another seeming anomaly: innocent defendants who pled guilty to rape.

While a wrongful trial conviction is thought to be a rare and deplorable outcome, the notion of the innocent defendant pleading guilty rather than declaring his innocence at trial . . .

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