Wrongful Convictions Blog

History has a unique way of repeating itself. Consider, for example, the question of wrongful conviction in France.The first French association designed to fight wrongful conviction was created in 1787! It was called “Association de Bienfaisance Judiciare (“charity judiciary association”), and was created by M. Boucher d’Argis. The Association both defended the poor in court, and provided them with compensation upon release. The members of the Association were booksellers, printers, nobles, and lawyers, and women were also admitted. The Association alerted the Monarchy about wrongful conviction, so in 1788, King Louis the 16th declared that it is necessary “to prevent wrongful conviction.” And this was one year before the Revolution! So while we in the United States should take great pride in the work that’s been done over the course of these last fifteen years, the French appear to be the first country that I’ve seen where wrongful conviction was…

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