Municipal Courts: Addressing the Systemic Issues that Contribute to Wrongful Convictions

Location: Nautilus 3
Date: Fri, March 24
Time: 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM

In the United States, approximately ten million petty-offense cases are filed every year. Misdemeanor convictions outnumber felony convictions five to one, and many of these misdemeanor convictions occur without the safeguards we rely upon to ensure the innocent are not punished. Targeted policing, high volume, lack of counsel, and money bail work together to entangle the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system, with little regard for evidence or guilt. Given the number of people who are convicted of misdemeanors  each year, the number of potential wrongful convictions is high. These wrongful convictions can result in incarceration, fines, and court debt, as well as lost jobs, housing, and educational opportunities. Attendees will learn about the issues that contribute to wrongful misdemeanor convictions, reforms that could fix these issues, and steps to get involved in reform.

201: Intermediate