Is it ever Possible to Undo the Damage Wrought by Wrongful Conviction?

Would you prefer to be declared ‘not guilty’ rather than being ‘factually innocent’? Before you rush to judgement, there is a marked difference between both terms beyond semantics. Assistant Professor Christopher Sherrin of the University of Western Ontario, Canada successfully engaged with the differences and nuances of both terms in his article entitled – ‘Undoing the damage of wrongful convictions’. In Canada, it appears the best an erroneously accused person can hope for is an acquittal.

He opines that: ‘The primary concern has been that by declaring some people more than not guilty, we would diminish the verdicts given to the remaining acquitted. Not guilty for them would come to mean just not proven to be guilty, and thus probably guilty’. He however concludes that: ‘The real debate should focus not on whether we should declare innocence, but on how we should most wisely do so, in order to offer all innocent accused a fair chance at leaving their erroneous prosecution truly in the past’. Read fuller analysis here

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