Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 8 of 8

Full-Text Articles in Law

Reliability, Justice And Confessions: The Essential Paradox, Russell L. Weaver Dec 2009

Reliability, Justice And Confessions: The Essential Paradox, Russell L. Weaver

Chicago-Kent Law Review

This paper deals with the issue of "reliability" in the criminal justice process, and the rising number of wrongful convictions that have been identified in recent years. Using modern evidentiary techniques, a rising number of individuals have been found "innocent" of the crimes for which they have been convicted. These instances of wrongful conviction have involved individuals who spent time on death row, awaiting execution, only to be completely exonerated. There are various reasons for these wrongful convictions, including prosecutorial misconduct and systemic failures such as inadequate indigent representation. This paper focuses on another systemic failure: difficulties with the confessions ...


The Roberts Court's Failed Innocence Project, Janet C. Hoeffel Dec 2009

The Roberts Court's Failed Innocence Project, Janet C. Hoeffel

Chicago-Kent Law Review

In this article, Professor Hoeffel discusses the Roberts Court's obvious struggle with its actual innocence jurisprudence. It is a struggle that was only theoretical in the days before DNA exonerations. While the Court had two opportunities to clarify the role of wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system, it has declined to do so. In House v. Bell, the Court ratcheted up the standard of proof for freestanding constitutional claims of innocence to a level no petitioner could understand, much less meet. Then, in District Attorney's Office for the Third Judicial District v. Osborne, the Court held that ...


The Role Of Innocence Commissions: Error Discovery, Systemic Reform Or Both?, Kent Roach Dec 2009

The Role Of Innocence Commissions: Error Discovery, Systemic Reform Or Both?, Kent Roach

Chicago-Kent Law Review

This article examines the role of innocence commissions as emerging criminal justice institutions. It draws a distinction between commissions devoted to the correction of errors in individual cases and commissions which make systemic reform recommendations in an effort to prevent wrongful convictions in future cases. The British and Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission are examined as examples of the former type of commission while Canadian public inquiries and commissions in Illinois, California and Virginia are examined as examples of the latter type of commission. Innocence commissions have had difficulties combining error correction and ...


Second Thoughts On Damages For Wrongful Convictions, Lawrence Rosenthal Dec 2009

Second Thoughts On Damages For Wrongful Convictions, Lawrence Rosenthal

Chicago-Kent Law Review

After the DNA-inspired wave of exonerations of recent years, there has been widespread support for expanding the damages remedies available to those who have been wrongfully accused or convicted. In this article, Professor Rosenthal argues that the case for providing such compensation is deeply problematic, whether advanced in terms of no-fault or fault-based liability. Although a regime of strict liability is sometimes thought justifiable as a means of creating an economic incentive to scale back such liability-producing conduct to optimal levels, this rationale has little application to the criminal justice system. Instead, a regime of strict liability would operate as ...


Intentional Wrongful Conviction Of Children, Victor Streib Dec 2009

Intentional Wrongful Conviction Of Children, Victor Streib

Chicago-Kent Law Review

Intentional wrongful convictions in cases involving child offenders may occur when judges have insufficient evidence proving any crime by the child but feel a strong need for the courts to intervene in the child's life and behavior. They believe that the negative factors attached to such a status are worth suffering if the child gains entry into a desired state program. This is wrongfully convicting the child "for the child's own good." Juvenile court judges too often receive knowledge of the child's background and previous record prior to any trial or hearing in order to devise the ...


Avoiding Wrongful Convictions: Re-Examining The "Wrong-Person" Defense, Lissa Griffin Jan 2009

Avoiding Wrongful Convictions: Re-Examining The "Wrong-Person" Defense, Lissa Griffin

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This Article reviews the history of the right to present a defense and closely examines the United States Supreme Court's modern analysis of that right. Part III analyzes the emergence of the right to present a defense that a third party committed the crime and concludes with a discussion of the Supreme Court's recent decision in South Carolina v. Holmes. Part IV then describes the current restrictive implementation of the wrong-person defense by the lower courts. Part V argues that the constitutional right to present a wrong-person defense is being insufficiently protected under current, arbitrary standards, and prescribes ...


Psychological And Cultural Aspects Of Interrogations And False Confessions: Using Research To Inform Legal Decision-Making, Richard A. Leo, Mark Costanzo, Netta Shaked-Schroer Dec 2008

Psychological And Cultural Aspects Of Interrogations And False Confessions: Using Research To Inform Legal Decision-Making, Richard A. Leo, Mark Costanzo, Netta Shaked-Schroer

Richard A. Leo

False confessions are a major cause of wrongful convictions. In many countries, physical abuse and torture are still used to extract confessions from criminal suspects. Cultural orientations such as collectivism and power distance may influence the tendency to confess, and a suspect's past experience in a country that uses physical abuse during interrogations may render suspects fearful and more prone to falsely confess. After looking at interrogations outside the United States, we examine the issue of why false confessions sometime occur in the U.S. legal system. We prove an overview of the stages of a typical interrogation and ...


Studying Wrongful Convictions: Learning From Social Science, Richard A. Leo, Jon B. Gould Dec 2008

Studying Wrongful Convictions: Learning From Social Science, Richard A. Leo, Jon B. Gould

Richard A. Leo

There has been an explosion of legal scholarship on wrongful convictions in the last decade, reflecting a growing concern about the problem of actual innocence in the criminal justice system. Yet criminal law and procedure scholars have engaged in relatively little dialogue or collaboration on this topic with criminologists. In this article, we use the empirical study of wrongful convictions to illustrate what criminological approaches—or, more broadly, social science methods—can teach legal scholars. After briefly examining the history of wrongful conviction scholarship, we discuss the limits of the (primarily) narrative methodology of legal scholarship on wrongful convictions. We ...