Actual Innocence May Actually Mean Something After All

Score one for the good guys. In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court has ruled that, in cases where a defendant can make “a convincing showing of actual innocence,” Congress’s 1996 rule that a one-year time limit applies to state inmate appeals in Federal court is invalid. Actual innocence, per Justice Ginsberg, is defined as evidence that is strong enough to persuade a judge that “no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find him guilty” at his trial had the jury known of it.

Question, and I honestly mean it: What possible interest could the public and/or a victim of a crime have in seeing an “actually innocent” person imprisoned? Isn’t that just the height of selfishness and ghoulish cruelty?

I think it also violates Pa Rule of Professional Conduct 3.8. Specifically, Comment 1 to the rule:

A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an
advocate.

Any prosecutors or victim rights advocates care to chime in?