Wrongly Convicted: Perspectives on Failed Justice / Edition 1

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
An all-star set of contributors and clearly written essays make this a worthwhile addition to anti-death penalty literature. Sociology professors at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Westervelt (Shifting the Blame) and Humphrey take a practical approach to the topic. Essays in Part 1 show that eyewitnesses are often wrong, police trick suspects into making confessions, informants lie to gain benefits, and police can be incompetent or venal. Part 2 argues that those who are unpopular, uneducated, or members of a racial minority invite harsher treatment by authorities. The next section offers case studies on convictions that were wrongly obtained, followed by suggestions for changes in the criminal justice system, such as more active judges, an "innocence commission" to examine convictions, liberal use of DNA evidence, and better training for lawyers. The book is more accessible than contributor Hugo Adam Bedau's The Death Penalty in America (LJ 3/15/97), the standard work in the field, and more pragmatic than Austin Sarat's When the State Kills (LJ 4/1/01), which attacks the death penalty from a philosophical and moral perspective. This excellent introduction to a controversial topic is highly recommended. Harry Charles, Attorney at Law, St. Louis Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813529523
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Series: Critical Issues in Crime and Society Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Causes of Wrongful Conviction
1 Misinformation and Wrongful Convictions 17
2 False Confessions: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions 36
3 From the Jailhouse to the Courthouse: The Role of Informants in Wrongful Convictions 55
4 The Police Role in Wrongful Convictions: An International Comparative Study 77
Pt. II The Social Characteristic of the Wrongly Convicted
5 Who Are the Wrongly Convicted on Death Row? 99
6 Racial Bias and the Conviction of the Innocent 114
Pt. III The Faces of the Wrongly Convicted: Case Studies
7 More Than a Reasonable Doubt: The Trial and Execution of Frank Ewing 135
8 No Appeal from the Grave: Innocence, Capital Punishment, and the Lessons of History 154
9 Whodunit? An Examination of the Production of Wrongful Convictions 174
Pt. IV Visions for Change in the Twenty-first Century
10 Back from the Courthouse: Corrective Measures to Address the Role of Informants in Wrongful Convictions 199
11 Effective Assistance of Counsel 220
12 DNA and Innocence Scholarship 241
13 The Adversary System and Historical Accuracy: Can We Do Better? 253
14 Erroneous Convictions and the Death Penalty 269
About the Editors and Contributors 281
Index 289
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