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University of Michigan Law School

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Criminal Law

2013

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Witness Recantation Study: Preliminary Findings, Samuel R. Gross, Alexandra E. Gross Jan 2013

Witness Recantation Study: Preliminary Findings, Samuel R. Gross, Alexandra E. Gross

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In September 2012, the National Registry of Exonerations began a research study of all the cases in our database that involve post-conviction recantations by witnesses or victims. This is the first systematic study of recantations ever conducted. Its purpose is to identify patterns and trends among these cases, with a particular focus on the circumstances that first elicit the false testimony, and on the official reactions to the recantations by judges and other authorities. Our data set includes all the cases in the Registry as of February 28, 2013 – a total of 1,068 cases, 250 of which involve recantations ...