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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Stop Blaming The Prosecutors: The Real Causes Of Wrongful Convictions And Rightful Exonerations, And What Should Be Done To Fix Them, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean, James J. Berles Apr 2015

Stop Blaming The Prosecutors: The Real Causes Of Wrongful Convictions And Rightful Exonerations, And What Should Be Done To Fix Them, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean, James J. Berles

Adam Lamparello

Wrongfully convicted and rightfully exonerated criminal defendants spent, on average, ten years in prison before exoneration, and the ramifications to the defendants, the criminal justice system, and society are immeasurable.Prosecutorial misconduct, however, is not the primary cause of wrongful convictions. To begin with, although more than twenty million new adult criminal cases are opened in state and federal courts each year throughout the United States, there have been only 1,281 total exonerations over the last twenty-five years. In only six percent of those cases was prosecutorial misconduct the predominant factor resulting in those wrongful convictions. Of course, although ...


Promoting The Study Of Wrongful Convictions In Criminal Justice Curricula, Jessica S. Henry Feb 2014

Promoting The Study Of Wrongful Convictions In Criminal Justice Curricula, Jessica S. Henry

Department of Justice Studies Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works

Criminal justice education promotes interdisciplinary learning, critical thinking skills, and ethical decision making. A course on wrongful convictions falls squarely within that paradigm, as it draws upon criminology, criminal justice, law, psychology, and forensic science to examine basic assumptions about the criminal justice system and the actors within it. In a wrongful convictions course, students learn to think critically about the criminal justice system, and what happens when it fails to function as it should. Students identify practice and policy reforms that improve the accuracy and reliability of the system. This article first considers the broad objectives of criminal justice ...


A Model For Fixing Identification Evidence After Perry V. New Hampshire, Robert Couch Jun 2013

A Model For Fixing Identification Evidence After Perry V. New Hampshire, Robert Couch

Michigan Law Review

Mistaken eyewitness identifications are the leading cause of wrongful convictions. In 1977, a time when the problems with eyewitness identifications had been acknowledged but were not yet completely understood, the Supreme Court announced a test designed to exclude unreliable eyewitness evidence. This standard has proven inadequate to protect against mistaken identifications. Despite voluminous scientific studies on the failings of eyewitness identification evidence and the growing number of DNA exonerations, the Supreme Court's outdated reliability test remains in place today. In 2012, in Perry v. New Hampshire, the Supreme Court commented on its standard for evaluating eyewitness evidence for the ...


International Perspectives On Correcting Wrongful Convictions: The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, Lissa Griffin Jan 2013

International Perspectives On Correcting Wrongful Convictions: The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, Lissa Griffin

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Part I of this Article traces the history of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) and outlines the procedures employed by the SCCRC after an application is received, with particular attention to its extensive investigatory procedures. It also describes and analyzes the standards for referral of an application to the Scottish court. Part II briefly sets forth the statistics concerning applications, referrals, and judicial decisions. Part III includes an analysis of the SCCRC’s work by looking at the cases that have been referred and decided by the court. Those cases are divided into several categories: fresh evidence referrals ...


Innocence And Federal Habeas After Aedpa: Time For The Supreme Court To Act, Joseph L. Hoffmann Jan 2012

Innocence And Federal Habeas After Aedpa: Time For The Supreme Court To Act, Joseph L. Hoffmann

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


Proposal To Reverse The View Of A Confession: From Key Evidence Requiring Corroboration To Corroboration For Key Evidence, Boaz Sangero, Mordechai Halpert Apr 2011

Proposal To Reverse The View Of A Confession: From Key Evidence Requiring Corroboration To Corroboration For Key Evidence, Boaz Sangero, Mordechai Halpert

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Both case law and legal literature have recognized that all, and not just clearly statistical, evidence is probabilistic. Therefore, we have much to learn from the laws of probability with regard to the evaluation of evidence in a criminal trial. The present Article focuses on the confession. First, we review legal and psychological literature and show that the probability of a false confession and, consequently, a wrongful conviction, is far from insignificant. In light of this, we warn against the cognitive illusion, stemming from the fallacy of the transposed conditional, which is liable to mislead the trier of fact in ...


Presumed Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Burden Of Proof In Wrongful Conviction Claims Under State Compensation Statutes, Daniel S. Kahn Oct 2010

Presumed Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Burden Of Proof In Wrongful Conviction Claims Under State Compensation Statutes, Daniel S. Kahn

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Despite significant efforts to uncover and prevent wrongful convictions, little attention has been paid to the compensation of wrongfully convicted individuals once they are released from prison. State compensation statutes offer the best path to redress because they do not require the claimant to prove that the state was at fault for the wrongful conviction and because they are not susceptible to the same political influences as other methods of compensation. However, even under compensation statutes, too many meritorious claims are dismissed, settled for far too little, or never brought in the first place. After examining the current statutory framework ...


Frequency And Predictors Of False Conviction: Why We Know So Little, And New Data On Capital Cases, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien Jan 2008

Frequency And Predictors Of False Conviction: Why We Know So Little, And New Data On Capital Cases, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien

Articles

In the first part of this article, we address the problems inherent in studying wrongful convictions: our pervasive ignorance and the extreme difficulty of obtaining the data that we need to answer even basic questions. The main reason that we know so little about false convictions is that, by definition, they are hidden from view. As a result, it is nearly impossible to gather reliable data on the characteristics or even the frequency of false convictions. In addition, we have very limited data on criminal investigations and prosecutions in general, so even if we could somehow obtain data on cases ...


The Revolution Enters The Court: The Constitutional Significance Of Wrongful Convictions In Contemporary Constitutional Regulation Of The Death Penalty, Jordan Steiker Jan 2006

The Revolution Enters The Court: The Constitutional Significance Of Wrongful Convictions In Contemporary Constitutional Regulation Of The Death Penalty, Jordan Steiker

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Over the last decade, the most important events in American death pen-alty law have occurred outside the courts. The discovery of numerous wrongfully convicted death-sentenced inmates in Illinois led to the most substantial reflection on the American death penalty system since the late 1960s and early 1970s. Former Illinois Governor George Ryan, a Republi-can, first declared a moratorium on executions in 2000 and eventually commuted all 167 inmates on Illinois’s death row in 2003. The events in Illinois reverberated nationwide. Almost overnight, state legislative agendas shifted from expanding or maintaining the prevailing reach of the death penalty to studying ...


Exonerations In The United States 1989 Through 2003, Samuel R. Gross, Kriten Jacoby, Daniel J. Matheson, Nicholas Montgomery, Sujata Patil Jan 2005

Exonerations In The United States 1989 Through 2003, Samuel R. Gross, Kriten Jacoby, Daniel J. Matheson, Nicholas Montgomery, Sujata Patil

Articles

On August 14, 1989, the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, Illinois, vacated Gary Dotson's 1979 rape conviction and dismissed the charges.1 Mr. Dotson-who had spent ten years in and out of prison and on parole for this conviction-was not the first innocent prisoner to be exonerated and released in America. But his case was a breakthrough nonetheless: he was the first who was cleared by DNA identification technology. It was the beginning of a revolution in the American criminal justice system. Until then, exonerations of falsely convicted defendants were seen as aberrational. Since 1989, these once-rare events ...