Murder is when a person kills an individual with a conscious intent to cause death or serious bodily harm. The person accused of murder should have had malice aforethought, meaning they planned on executing the criminal act and went through with it. In South Carolina, murder is a capital offense punishable by death.
However, wrongful convictions happen more often than you realize. Someone facing false murder charges could die for a crime they did not even commit.
Why do false murder charges happen?
A murder accusation is so scandalously immoral that it can ruin a person’s life completely, even before they have a chance to exercise their right to a fair trial. False murder charges should not even exist, yet they do even today. False murder charges happen because of the following reasons:
- Eyewitness errors and misidentification
- Erroneous forensic evidence
- Profiling and prejudice
- Police misconduct
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Misleading testimonies and false confessions
- Coerced testimonies and confessions
The prosecution will work tirelessly to obtain a conviction and the nature of the charges has the tendency to sway the sentiments of a courtroom. It may force an accused person to agree to a plea bargain and admit guilt because they are afraid to die.
Defending against false murder charges
A person is only guilty of murder if the prosecution has enough evidence to satisfy the standard of proof for criminal cases, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. They must prove the defendant is so clearly and obviously guilty of murder that any rational person would agree. The defendant’s legal representative must convince the courtroom that the evidence does not justify a murder conviction. The prosecution has a higher burden, and rightfully so, especially when an innocent person’s life is on the line.