One of the common misconceptions I come across from people I meet is their assumption that if someone is charged with a DUI then he/she must have been guilty. Those of us who work with DUI cases on a daily basis know that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
I would like to illustrate this with an example from the most scrutinized type of criminal cases: death penalty cases.
Death penalty cases go through a number of appeals and reviews and despite this an alarmingly high number of people are wrongfully executed every year. The Innocence Project has helped to overturn a number of death penalty cases through DNA testing and has shown these cases are indicative of a widespread problem. Not every wrongful conviction is caught, leading to many wrongful executions. Here is an example:
He was the spitting image of the killer, had the same first name and was near the scene of the crime at the fateful hour: Carlos DeLuna paid the ultimate price and was executed in place of someone else in Texas in 1989, a report out Tuesday found.
Even “all the relatives of both Carloses mistook them,” and DeLuna was sentenced to death and executed based only on eyewitness accounts despite a range of signs he was not a guilty man, said law professor James Liebman.
Liebman and five of his students at Columbia School of Law spent almost five years poring over details of a case that he says is “emblematic” of legal system failure.
DeLuna, 27, was put to death after “a very incomplete investigation. No question that the investigation is a failure,” Liebman said.
My question to you is this: If wrongful convictions are happening in death penalty cases, even under high scrutiny, then don’t you think they happen in far less scrutinized cases like DUI?
As a former Fulton County Prosecutor, I have a unique perspective on DUI cases in Atlanta after having been on both sides of the trenches. The fact of the matter is people are wrongfully arrested and convicted for DUI and that it why DUI defense attorneys like myself keep fighting the good fight – to protect your rights.