From a young age children are taught the importance of honesty in any situation and how the art of telling the truth can benefit an individual more than harm them. As individuals get older they are exposed to the recklessness and the chaos of the world, they soon learn how the justice system deals with some guilty individuals who are dishonest on the stand. But what happens when telling the truth secures an individual a bunk in a jail cell?
As many know, telling the truth in some circumstances have not always proven to be beneficial to some individuals. In some circumstances there are others on the other side telling lies to contradict what the accused individual may be saying. These lies are called false accusations and can often be used as a way to divert attention away from one’s own guilt.
A false accusation is a claim or allegation of wrongdoing that is untrue or otherwise unsupported with facts. False accusations can be a charge of criminal wrongdoing, an informal statement that the accused individual has engaged in illegal activity, and claims based on defamation of characters. According to the federal law, false accusations is a crime punishable by jail time, however that is not always the case. In some criminal cases many accused individuals are sent to jail because the lies told against the accused felon were believed.
One case where false accusations ruined the life of an accused individual was the Greg Counts and Van Dyke Perry case. In this case, the accused individuals (Perry and Gregory) were in prison for over a combined 37 years after being accused of kidnapping and rape. A woman fabricated a story against Counts and Perry in 1991, saying that they kidnapped her and raped her. Although there was no physical evidence against the two accused individuals, they were put into prison and served time for a crime they did not commit. They were later exonerated in 2017, after new evidence arose forcing the woman to admit that the alleged kidnapping and rape never happened.
Another case involving false accusations was the Central Park Five Case. In this case 5 juvenile boys were accused of rape and murder of a young white female on her midnight jog. Even though there was no type of physical evidence linking any of the boys to the crime scene, they were brought in for questioning and were beaten by interrogators into confessing to a crime they did not commit. These juveniles all received sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years in 1990 and were not exonerated for their alleged “crimes” until 2002. Although the five juvenile boys were not falsely accused by a certain individual, they were falsely accused by police officers and interrogators which further demonstrates some flaws in the justice system influenced by false accusations.
False accusations ruin lives and force accused individuals to lose precious moments in their lives all because of one person’s lies. Because of this crime, innocent people are introduced to scarring activities in prison and are forced to fend for themselves. It’s clear that reformation needs to occur in order to clear the path for a better justice system and better home for people across the country.