(NEW YORK) — Police chiefs across the country are expected to call for improvements to how investigations are conducted in order to cut down on wrongful convictions.
The International Associate of Police Chiefs will make the announcement Tuesday in conjunction with the Justice Department and the Innocence Project, a group that works to exonerate prisoners using DNA testing.
Former FBI special agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett believes changes are necessary.
“It is a problem. You can look on the Innocence Project’s website of literally of hundreds of people that they’ve got exonerated over the years,” he says.
Garrett notes some of the issues lie with inconsistencies on how photo lineups are conducted and statements are taken.
“There are many circumstances and situations where people are convicted because of the neighborhoods they live in, because of their ethnicity, and an automatic sort of belief that this person fits the general description,” he adds.
Garrett says a set of guidelines would help prevent wrongful convictions.
“You have roughly 18,000 police departments from obviously very large departments — like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago — to extremely small departments where there are just a handful of deputies or detectives; and the quality control is all over the place,” he points out.
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