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University of Michigan Law School

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Criminal Law

Police

Articles 1 - 12 of 12

Full-Text Articles in Law

Government Misconduct And Convicting The Innocent: The Role Of Prosecutors, Police And Other Law Enforcement, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice J. Possley, Kaitlin Jackson Roll, Klara Huber Stephens Jan 2020

Government Misconduct And Convicting The Innocent: The Role Of Prosecutors, Police And Other Law Enforcement, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice J. Possley, Kaitlin Jackson Roll, Klara Huber Stephens

Other Publications

This is a report about the role of official misconduct in the conviction of innocent people. We discuss cases that are listed in the National Registry of Exonerations, an ongoing online archive that includes all known exonerations in the United States since 1989, 2,663 as of this writing. This Report describes official misconduct in the first 2,400 exonerations in the Registry, those posted by February 27, 2019.

In general, we classify a case as an “exoneration” if a person who was convicted of a crime is officially and completely cleared based on new evidence of innocence.

The Report ...


Errors In Misdemeanor Adjudication, Samuel R. Gross May 2018

Errors In Misdemeanor Adjudication, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

Millions of defendants are convicted of misdemeanors in the United States each year but almost none obtain exonerations, primarily because ordinarily exoneration is far too costly and time consuming to pursue for anything less than years of imprisonment. The National Registry of Exonerations lists all known exonerations in the United States since 1989 — 2,145 cases, as of the end of 2017; only 85 are misdemeanors, 4%. In all but one of these misdemeanor exonerations the defendants were convicted of crimes that never happened; by comparison, more than three-quarters of felony exonerees were convicted of actual crimes that other people ...


Race And Wrongful Convictions In The United States, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice Possley, Klara Stephens Mar 2017

Race And Wrongful Convictions In The United States, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice Possley, Klara Stephens

Other Publications

African Americans are only 13% of the American population but a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large-scale police scandals and later cleared in “group exonerations.” We see this racial disparity for all major crime categories, but we examine it in this report in the context of the three types of crime that produce the ...


What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross Jan 2017

What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross

Articles

False convictions are notoriously difficult to study because they can neither be observed when they occur nor identified after the fact by any plausible research strategy. Our best shot is to collect data on those that come to light in legal proceedings that result in the exoneration of the convicted defendants. In May 2012, the National Registry of Exonerations released its first report, covering 873 exonerations from January 1989 through February 2012. By October 15, 2016, we had added 1,027 cases: 599 exonerations since March 1, 2012, and 428 that had already happened when we issued our initial report ...


Process Costs And Police Discretion, Charlie Gerstein, J. J. Prescott Apr 2015

Process Costs And Police Discretion, Charlie Gerstein, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Cities across the country are debating police discretion. Much of this debate centers on “public order” offenses. These minor offenses are unusual in that the actual sentence violators receive when convicted — usually time already served in detention — is beside the point. Rather, public order offenses are enforced prior to any conviction by subjecting accused individuals to arrest, detention, and other legal process. These “process costs” are significant; they distort plea bargaining to the point that the substantive law behind the bargained-for conviction is largely irrelevant. But the ongoing debate about police discretion has ignored the centrality of these process costs ...


Souter Passant, Scalia Rampant: Combat In The Marsh, Samuel R. Gross Jan 2006

Souter Passant, Scalia Rampant: Combat In The Marsh, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

Kansas law provides that unless a capital sentencing jury concludes that the mitigating factors that apply to the defendant’s crime outweigh the aggravating factors, it must sentence the defendant to death. The Kansas Supreme Court held that this law violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments because it “impermissibly mandates the death penalty when the jury finds that the mitigating and aggravating circumstances are in equipoise.” On June 26, in Kansas v. Marsh, the Supreme Court reversed in a 5 to 4 opinion by Justice Thomas.


Jurisdictional Competition In Criminal Justice: How Much Does It Really Happen?, Samuel R. Gross Jan 2006

Jurisdictional Competition In Criminal Justice: How Much Does It Really Happen?, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

It's a familiar image from American fiction: the bad guy ridden out of town on a rail' or beaten up by the sheriff and dumped on the next train out. Where do they go? Banishment is an age-old form of punishment. In America, where an atomized criminal justice system has survived into the twentyfirst century, we can continue to try to dump our criminals on our near neighbors, and-as Doron Teichman points out in his interesting articlethat is not the only way that American states, counties, and cities can try to reduce their own crime rates by exporting crime ...


Road Work: Racial Profiling And Drug Interdiction On The Highway, Samuel R. Gross, Katherine Y. Bames Jan 2002

Road Work: Racial Profiling And Drug Interdiction On The Highway, Samuel R. Gross, Katherine Y. Bames

Articles

Hypocrisy about race is hardly new in America, but the content changes. Recently the spotlight has been on racial profiling. The story of Colonel Carl Williams of the New Jersey State Police is a wellknown example. On Sunday, February 28, 1999, the Newark Star Ledger published a lengthy interview with Williams in which he talked about race and drugs: "Today... the drug problem is cocaine or marijuana. It is most likely a minority group that's involved with that."4 Williams condemned racial profiling - "As far as racial profiling is concerned, that is absolutely not right. It never has been ...


Racial Profiling Under Attack, Samuel R. Gross, D. Livingston Jan 2002

Racial Profiling Under Attack, Samuel R. Gross, D. Livingston

Articles

The events of September 11, 2001, have sparked a fierce debate over racial profiling. Many who readily condemned the practice a year ago have had second thoughts. In the wake of September 11, the Department ofJustice initiated a program of interviewing thousands of men who arrived in this country in the past two years from countries with an al Qaeda presence-a program that some attack as racial profiling, and others defend as proper law enforcement. In this Essay, Professors Gross and Livingston use that program as the focus of a discussion of the meaning of racial profiling, its use in ...


Lost Lives: Miscarriages Of Justice In Capital Cases, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1999

Lost Lives: Miscarriages Of Justice In Capital Cases, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

In case after case, erroneous conviction for capital murder has been proven. I contend that these are not disconnected accidents, but systematic consequences of the nature of homicice prosecution in the general and capital prosecution in particular - that in this respect, as in others, death distorts and undermines the course of the law.


How To Use, Abuse—And Fight Back With—Crime Statistics, Yale Kamisar Jan 1972

How To Use, Abuse—And Fight Back With—Crime Statistics, Yale Kamisar

Articles

Statistics have an almost magical appeal in a "fact"-minded culture such as ours, among a people conditioned and accustomed to watch for-and attach great significance to-even the smallest fluctuations in say, the unemployment rate. Hence, as Darrell Huff graphically demonstrated in his famous little book, How to Lie with Statistics (1954), they can be-and have been-manipulated to terrorize or calm, inflate or depreciate, and above all, to sensationalize and over simplify. As Harvard criminologist Lloyd Ohlin noted recently, statistics are especially potent when "they give a sense of solid reality (usually false) to something people vaguely apprehend and when ...


Review Of Criminology, By E. H. Sutherland, John B. Waite Jan 1925

Review Of Criminology, By E. H. Sutherland, John B. Waite

Reviews

Professor Waite muses that "It seems rather unfair for a lawyer to review a textbook on criminology, especially as the author himself says, and quite truly, 'Little attention has been paid by law schools, lawyers, or judges to the improvement of the criminal law....'"

Happily: "...[T]he reviewer finds nothing but good to say of the book" (once he gets past how thin the paper is) and gives the reader a generous listing of chapters in the first paragraph.