“When it comes to implementing reforms designed to guard against convicting innocent people, Pennsylvania lags far behind the vast majority of states. It has no law requiring the police to record interviews with suspects to prevent coerced confessions. Nor does it have a law setting guidelines for police to follow when conducting eyewitness identifications.”


“Another frequent cause of wrongful convictions is bad lawyering by defense attorneys. You get what you pay for when it comes to legal services, and Pennsylvania pays nothing at all—standing alone among the 50 states in its steadfast refusal to allocate any money in the state budget for indigent criminal defense. Instead, it is up to each Pennsylvania county to design a system to provide legal representation to the poor. Not surprisingly, the performance is uneven: Philadelphia’s public defender office, set up as a nonprofit, is known for its well-trained and diligent attorneys. In other parts of the state, there is no public defender at all. Instead, judges appoint lawyers on an ad hoc basis, often at hourly compensation rates that are shockingly low.”