In New Jersey criminal trials, prosecutors may use eyewitness identification to prove their cases beyond a reasonable doubt. Even so, The Innocence Project names eyewitness misidentification as a leading cause of wrongful convictions. There may be one way to tell when a witness has misidentified a suspect, and that is through the confidence he or she displays.
New Jersey residents may be interested to learn that over 3,100 people will soon be released from federal prisons as part of the implementation of a sentencing reform bill. The Bureau of Prisons will be releasing these individuals in compliance with the First Step Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in 2018. The majority of the offenders being released were convicted on drug charges and many have already been living in halfway houses after they were identified for eligibility under the law. However, 900 of the people being released are still eligible for detention by immigration authorities or local officials.
Probation and parole programs in New Jersey and around the country are designed to reduce prison populations and help offenders to get their lives back on track, but a recently released report from the Council of State Governments suggests that supervised release fails almost as often as it succeeds. The Kentucky-based nonprofit organization's Justice Center gathered parole and probation data from all 50 states, and its researchers found that nearly half of the people sent to state prisons each year are jailed for violating the conditions of their supervised release.