Our justice system is supposed to keep innocent people out of jail, so why are so many innocent people ending up in prison? With so much technology tracking us daily, you would think that solving a case of any magnitude would be as simple as following the digital trail (phones, videos, GPS signals) … yet it is not that easy.  To help answer the question above, here is a list of six reasons why innocent people end up in prison. If you have been charged with a crime in Alabama, make sure you speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer so you can avoid these six possible pitfalls to your freedom. 

Bad Actors

While most cops are upstanding individuals looking to protect everyone, there are a few bad actors that can wreak havoc on your trial outcome. Bad actors will plant evidence, hide evidence that could help you, cut special deals with the prosecution for fake testimonies, and even get forced confessions using improper interrogation tactics. With the current climate, and the increase in viral videos, it is not hard to see that there are some bad actors mixed in with those who truly want to protect.


Forced Confessions

A confession is one of the most critical aspects of any case. If an interrogator can get a confession out of you, they have an easy win for the prosecution. However, it is not hard to get most people to confess to a crime when they are held in a small room for a long time (think ten or more hours) while being interrogated by an abusive and experienced individual. According to the Innocent Project, 30% of DNA exonerations had a false confession – so why did they confess to something they did not do? What did they say wrong?


Eyewitness Failure

Unfortunately, humans are not good at remembering details when they witness life-altering events. In most cases, they miss a lot of critical details, generally focusing on one aspect and then filling in the blanks to help them recapture the timeline of events. Even worse, it is easy for them to inaccurately identify you as the criminal involved simply through subliminal suggestion and other mind-jogging exercises (photo of potential criminals, verbal suggestions, verbal coercion).


Sentence Snitching

Secret deals get made all of the time, especially with leniency provisions attached for information (true or not) that leads to the prosecution of an individual. Those with long jail sentences are almost always willing to give up dirt on another individual in jail without regard to how it will affect the individual to reduce their sentence. They might claim they overheard a conversation and/or confession to help bolster the prosecutor’s case.


Inexperienced Lawyers

Court-appointed lawyers tend to be new to the criminal defense scene, oftentimes with little or no case experience. For those with limited funds, a court-appointed lawyer could be the final nail in the conviction coffin. With the potential for serious consequences following a conviction, it is important to find an experienced criminal defense lawyer.



Unfortunately, it is easy to find a “credentialed” witness who can spout off all kinds of pseudoscience garbage for the jury. Most jurors are not well-versed in certain sciences, and these “credentialed” witnesses can easily make it look like you are guilty, even when you are not. Even worse, prosecutors know this and will gladly pay a small (sometimes large) fee to ensure they do not end up with a loss on their conviction record which is why innocent people end up in prison.


Schedule a Confidential Consultation with Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer Tim Fleming

Don’t let any of these factors affect your chances at freedom. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Alabama, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. To speak with us confidentially, call us at (251) 304-0888 or use our online contact form.