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[132] Series Lectures of Criminal Law: ¡°Study on the Prevention and Rectification of Miscarriage of Justice in the United States¡±

On 22 December 2016, a lecture on ¡°Study on the Prevention and Rectification of Miscarriage of Justice in the United States¡± was held in Renmin Law School. The Lecturer was Professor Ira Belkin, Executive Director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute of New York University School of Law, and Vice Dean Shi Yanan of Renmin Law School severed as the host. Researcher Gao Yuan and Researcher Yin Chi of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute and Associate Professor Wei Xiaona of the Research Center for Criminal Justice were also present.

The lecture consisted of four main parts.

Firstly, how does the miscarriage of justice change people¡¯s views on criminal Justice? Professor Belkin pointed out that currently American legal profession is quite confident with its criminal justice system, assuming that the systematic procedural and rights protection can prevent at the maximum extent the miscarriage of justice. Taking Central Park Five as an example, he further pointed out that the courts concerned relied excessively upon confession, inductive questioning was carried out by the police and there existed DNA mismatches. Recalling the development of the study on miscarriage of justice, Professor Belkin said that it had not been paid much attention by the public until the launch of the Innocent Project. The Innocent Project holds a higher standard in identifying the miscarriage of justice. University of Michigan School of Law, on the other hand, holds a comparatively lower standard and has identified 1944 cases since 1989, nearly five times more than the number identified by the Innocent Project. Professor Belkin insisted that people should hold a positive attitude towards those cases which were of high value for research.

Secondly, how does the miscarriage of justice come into being? Perjury, false accusation, false witness, inaccurate forensic identification and false confession all contribute to the miscarriage of justice. To prevent the aforementioned phenomenon, getting different police officers involved in different period, introducing the video recording system into interrogation, making open questioning instead of inductive questioning and promoting the application of DNA technology are effective measures.

Thirdly, Who initiates the rectification of the miscarriage of justice? There are three organizations: Non-profit Innocent Project Organization, Organization represented by the Innocence Commission set up by North Carolina, and Organization represented by the Conviction Integrity Unit set up by the Procuratorate. Professor Belkin also emphasized the importance of evidence collection and evidence storage.

Lastly, Professor Belkin expressed his expectations for Sino-U.S. cooperation on prevention and rectification of the miscarriage of justice. Professor Shi also send his best wishes for the closer relationship between Renmin Law School and the U.S.-Asia Law Institute of New York University School of Law.

(Editor: Wu Huimin)¡¡

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