From The Grio – The University of Michigan Law School in a joint project with Northwestern University Law School has released an alarming a registry of wrongful convictions. The convictions range from drug crimes to child sex abuse cases. The cases span several decades and include both male, female, black, Latino and Caucasian suspects, however 50 percent of false convictions are of African-Americans. Most of the convictions came from falsified crime scenes, eyewitness mistakes and misconduct by authorities including both police officers and prosecutors.
One of the most disturbing cases details the conviction of Thomas Kennedy, 31 at the time who was sentenced to 15 years in prison when is 11-year-old daughter, Cassandra Ann Kennedy accused her father of raping her on three separate occasions in his home in Longview, Washington. She gave detailed accounts of being raped in her home. She used stuffed animals to show what had occurred and she was examined at a medical clinic where a physician found evidence of trauma to her genitals.
Eleven years later Cassandra came forward and revealed to authorities that she’d fabricated her allegation because she wanted he father to “go away,” because he drank and smoked marijuana. At a hearing in 2012 Cassandra testified that the physical evidence of trauma was a result of sexual activity with a boy in her class and that she was engaging in sexual activity in the second grade. She also testified that she was able to fabricate her story from watching movies and observing sex acts in her household by walking into bedrooms where adults were engaging in sex.