Wrongly Convicted: Perspectives on Failed Justice / Edition 1

Wrongly Convicted: Perspectives on Failed Justice / Edition 1

by Saundra D. Westervelt
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813529522

ISBN-13: 9780813529523

Pub. Date: 06/28/2001

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

The American criminal justice system contains numerous safeguards to prevent the conviction of innocent persons. The Bill of Rights provides nineteen separate rights for the alleged criminal offender, including the right to effective legal representation and the right to be judged without regard to race or creed. Despite these safeguards, wrongful convictions

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Overview

The American criminal justice system contains numerous safeguards to prevent the conviction of innocent persons. The Bill of Rights provides nineteen separate rights for the alleged criminal offender, including the right to effective legal representation and the right to be judged without regard to race or creed. Despite these safeguards, wrongful convictions persist, and the issue has reverberated in the national debate over capital punishment.

The essays in this volume are written from a cross-disciplinary perspective by some of the most eminent lawyers, criminologists, and social scientists in the field today. The articles are divided into four sections: the causes of wrongful convictions, the social characteristics of the wrongly convicted, case studies and personal histories, and suggestions for changes in the criminal justice system to prevent wrongful convictions. Contributors examine a broad range of issues, including the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, particularly in cross-racial identifications; the disadvantages faced by racial and ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system; and the impact of new technologies, especially DNA evidence, in freeing the innocent and bringing the guilty to justice. The book also asks such questions as: What legal characteristics do wrongful convictions share? What are the mechanisms that defendants and their attorneys use to overturn wrongful convictions? The book also provides case studies that offer specific examples of what can and does go wrong in the criminal justice system.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813529523
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Series:
Critical Issues in Crime and Society Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
770,843
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
Pt. ICauses of Wrongful Conviction
1Misinformation and Wrongful Convictions17
2False Confessions: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions36
3From the Jailhouse to the Courthouse: The Role of Informants in Wrongful Convictions55
4The Police Role in Wrongful Convictions: An International Comparative Study77
Pt. IIThe Social Characteristic of the Wrongly Convicted
5Who Are the Wrongly Convicted on Death Row?99
6Racial Bias and the Conviction of the Innocent114
Pt. IIIThe Faces of the Wrongly Convicted: Case Studies
7More Than a Reasonable Doubt: The Trial and Execution of Frank Ewing135
8No Appeal from the Grave: Innocence, Capital Punishment, and the Lessons of History154
9Whodunit? An Examination of the Production of Wrongful Convictions174
Pt. IVVisions for Change in the Twenty-first Century
10Back from the Courthouse: Corrective Measures to Address the Role of Informants in Wrongful Convictions199
11Effective Assistance of Counsel220
12DNA and Innocence Scholarship241
13The Adversary System and Historical Accuracy: Can We Do Better?253
14Erroneous Convictions and the Death Penalty269
About the Editors and Contributors281
Index289

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