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'The law related to cases of mistaken identity illustrates a tension between calls for certainty and calls for fairness'. Discuss - Essay Example

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Customary intelligence and wisdom is being challenged by improved and modern forms of evidence, which has questioned certain…
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'The law related to cases of mistaken identity illustrates a tension between calls for certainty and calls for fairness'. Discuss

It may be argued that methods to find the truth are not supplementary to each other and these should not be so, because there is nothing absolute. But at the same time mere insistence on any one of these methods could be disastrous. Cases as to mistaken identity, whatever the reason for the same may be, had resulted in number of convictions of innocent people in past and decisions of jury on question of fact has been questioned. No doubt, there was a time when eye witness was the only source to prove an occurrence of crime as well as the identity of the criminal, but today, it is not the case. DNA testing, audio visual aids, scientific investigatory gadgets like GPS etc. have provided additional complimentary tools to prove or unprove the guilt and these are attracting attention of jurists and law. The same is indicating a switch toward call for certainty rather than call for fairness in criminal procedures and establishment of guilt.
Fairness implies that all rights of the accused in connection with the trails are secured. Defendant is provided a fair chance to prove his innocence by defending himself and contradicting the evidences provided by the prosecution. It also indicates consistency in application of law and non discriminatory attitude towards the parties. However, capacity of jury to make informed judgment about the fact of an incident and involvement of accused is largely dependant on evidence and its presentation by the attorneys on both sides. There might be all fairness on part of jury as it is based on proofs and testimonies of witnesses but can this fairness removes all the chances of wrong convictions? The answer is ‘NO’. There are always chances of wrong decisions and thus wrong convictions. So should there be any step further towards ascertainment of facts? The answer is definitely in affirmation.
Fairness is not all about application of law and procedures in fair way, but also introduction of fair laws and procedures. ... Read More
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