Safety from False Convictions
256 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2016
Date Written: July 30, 2016
This book provides readers with an exploration of ways to reduce the rate of false convictions in the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system should be seen as a Safety-Critical System, specifically a system that deals with matters of life and death, where any error is likely to cause grave harm to both the individual and society. Implementing safety in criminal law is necessary, both morally and economically. Incorporating into the criminal justice system a modern safety theory that is commonly accepted in other areas, such as space, aviation, engineering, and transportation, is an idea that was developed jointly by myself and Dr. Mordechai Halpert and presented mainly in the coauthored article “A Safety Doctrine for the Criminal Justice System.” This is the starting point of the book. The book expands the preliminary proposition and engages in the application of the modern safety theory and methods in the criminal justice system. Thus, for example, the book demonstrates how the fundamentally important Identify-Analyze-Control method can and should be implemented in the system, using Nancy Leveson’s STAMP’s model (“System-Theoretic Accident Model and Processes”). This is the first book that proposes a general theory of safety for the criminal justice system. It provides specific safety rules for certain types of criminal evidence and criminal law procedures.
Keywords: safety, false conviction, criminal law, evidence, innocence, criminal procedure, wrongful conviction, false confession, scientific evidence, junk science, forensic, plea bargain, eyewitness testimony
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