The Innocence Project has done it again. On October 21, 2011 Henry James was released from prison after his rape conviction was vacated. DNA testing proved James was innocent after he spent 29 years and 11 months incarcerated for a crime he did not commit.
The most scary part of this case, in my opinion, is that the victim was influenced by the police who caused her to misidentify Mr. James. An article regarding the facts of this case reads as follows:
"Misidentification has played a role in 75% of the DNA exoneration, and cross racial identifications, as in this case, have proven especially unreliable," said Thomas Golden, Partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. "In hind sight, it's pretty obvious that the victim was influenced by her interactions with Mr. James the day before. The police may have also inadvertently influenced her misidentification.”
In many of the sex crime cases handled by our office, we believe that the complainants are easily influenced by other witnesses and law enforcement. While some of the influence may be accidental at times, our office has seen a number of cases where the complainants, especially children, have been manipulated to say they were sexually assaulted by a person who was looking for secondary gain. Sometimes the allegations come from a parent trying to gain an advantage in a custody case. Sometimes the allegations are made in an effort to get money such as a financial settlement. Sometimes the allegations are created to get revenge on a person after a bitter breakup or simply to get attention.
In any event, the Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith works tirelessly to discover the story of each client we represent. One of our main concerns is to determine the motivation behind the accusations. By developing this part of each case, our office has had tremendous success in getting cases dismissed sometimes before they even begin. We focus our practice on defending Michigan sex crimes. This means far more than just being attorneys who handle this type of case. Sex crimes are the cases we choose to focus on.