Author: Jim Dwyer
Publisher: New Amer Library
Release Date: 2003
A collection of nightmarish true tales of people falsely accused detail the slovenly police work, corruption, errant witnesses, and other flaws in the criminal justice system that landed these people in prison or on death row. Reprint.
Author: Barry Scheck
Publisher: New Amer Library
Release Date: 2001-03-01
Here are the stories of innocent men -- and the system that put them away under the guise of justice. Now updated with new information, Actual Innocence sheds light on "a system that tolerates lying prosecutors, slumbering defense attorneys, and sloppy investigators" (The Salt Lake Tribune) -- revealing the shocking flaws that can derail the legal process and the ways that DNA testing has, in so many cases, shattered so-called solid evidence that has condemned American citizens to death. Book jacket.
Author: Brandon Garrett
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2011-08-04
DNA exonerations have shattered confidence in the criminal justice system by exposing how often we have convicted the innocent and let the guilty walk free. In this unsettling analysis, Garrett examines what went wrong in the cases of the first 250 people exonerated by DNA testing, and proposes systemic reforms.
Author: Jim Petro
Release Date: 2014-07-11
Genre: Social Science
Compelling and engagingly written, this book by former Attorney General of Ohio Jim Petro and his wife, writer Nancy Petro, takes the reader inside actual cases, summarizes extensive research on the causes and consequences of wrongful conviction, and exposes eight common myths that inspire false confidence in the justice system and undermine reform. Now newly published in paperback with an extensive list of web links to wrongful conviction sources internationally, False Justice is ideal for use in a wide array of criminal justice and criminology courses. Myth 1: Everyone in prison claims innocence. Myth 2: Our system almost never convicts an innocent person. Myth 3: Only the guilty confess. Myth 4: Wrongful conviction is the result of innocent human error. Myth 5: An eyewitness is the best testimony. Myth 6: Conviction errors get corrected on appeal. Myth 7: It dishonors the victim to question a conviction. Myth 8: If the justice system has problems, the pros will fix them.
Release Date: 2015-10-01
On September 30, 2003, Calvin was declared innocent and set free from Angola State Prison, after serving 22 years for a crime he did not commit. Like many other exonerees, Calvin experienced a new world that was not open to him. Hitting the streets without housing, money, or a change of clothes, exonerees across America are released only to fend for themselves. In the tradition of Studs Terkel's oral histories, this book collects the voices and stories of the exonerees for whom life — inside and out — is forever framed by extraordinary injustice
Recalling the great muckrakers of the past, an outraged team of America’s best-selling writers unite to confront the disasters of wrongful convictions. Wrongful convictions, long regarded as statistical anomalies in an otherwise sound justice system, now appear with frightening regularity. But few people understand just how or why they happen and, more important, the immeasurable consequences that often haunt the lucky few who are acquitted, years after they are proven innocent. Now, in this groundbreaking anthology, fourteen exonerated inmates narrate their stories to a roster of high-profile mystery and thriller writers—including Lee Child, Sara Paretsky, Laurie R. King, Jan Burke and S. J. Rozan—while another exoneree’s case is explored in a previously unpublished essay by legendary playwright Arthur Miller. An astonishing and unique collaboration, these testimonies bear witness to the incredible stories of innocent men and women who were convicted of serious crimes and cast into the maw of a vast and deeply flawed American criminal justice system before eventually, and miraculously, being exonerated. Introduced by best-selling authors Scott Turow and Barry Scheck, these master storytellers capture the tragedy of wrongful convictions as never before and challenge readers to confront the limitations and harsh realities of the American criminal justice system. Lee Child tells of Kirk Bloodsworth, who obsessively read about the burgeoning field of DNA testing, cautiously hoping that it held the key to his acquittal—until he eventually became the first person to be exonerated from death row based on DNA evidence. Judge John Sheldon and author Gayle Lynds team up to share Audrey Edmunds’s experience raising her children long distance from her prison cell. And exoneree Gloria Killian recounts to S. J. Rozan her journey from that fateful "knock on the door" and the initial shock of accusation to the scars she carries today. Together, the powerful stories collected within the Anatomy of Innocence detail every aspect of the experience of wrongful conviction, as well as the remarkable depths of endurance sustained by each exoneree who never lost hope.
Author: Saundra Davis Westervelt
Publisher: Rutgers Univ Pr
Release Date: 2001-09
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.The contributors argue that the most important single characteristic among wrongful conviction cases is the chronic denial by politicians and prosecutorsof the existence of a problem and their failure to act decisively when evidence of a possible wrongful conviction comes to light.
Author: Scott Christianson
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2006-11-01
Innocent graphically documents forty-two recent criminal cases to find evidence of shocking miscarriages of justice, especially in murder cases. Based upon interviews with more than 200 people and reviews of hundreds internal case files, court records, smoking-gun memoranda, and other documents, Scott Christianson gets inside the legal cases, revealing the mistakes, abuses, and underlying factors that led to miscarriages of justice, while also describing how determined prisoners, post-conviction attorneys, advocates, and journalists struggle against tremendous odds to try to win their exonerations. The result is a powerful work that recounts the human costs of a criminal justice system gone awry, and shows us how wrongful convictions can—and do—happen everywhere.
Author: Jon B. Gould
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2009-11-01
Beyond Exonerating the Innocent: Author on WAMU Radio Convicted Yet Innocent: The Legal Times Review Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2008 DNA testing and advances in forensic science have shaken the foundations of the U.S. criminal justice system. One of the most visible results is the exoneration of inmates who were wrongly convicted and incarcerated, many of them sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit. This has caused a quandary for many states: how can claims of innocence be properly investigated and how can innocent inmates be reliably distinguished from the guilty? In answer, some states have created “innocence commissions” to establish policies and provide legal assistance to the improperly imprisoned. The Innocence Commission describes the creation and first years of the Innocence Commission for Virginia (ICVA), the second innocence commission in the nation and the first to conduct a systematic inquiry into all cases of wrongful conviction. Written by Jon B. Gould, the Chair of the ICVA, who is a professor of justice studies and an attorney, the author focuses on twelve wrongful conviction cases to show how and why wrongful convictions occur, what steps legal and state advocates took to investigate the convictions, how these prisoners were ultimately freed, and what lessons can be learned from their experiences. Gould recounts how a small band of attorneys and other advocates — in Virginia and around the country — have fought wrongful convictions in court, advanced the subject of wrongful convictions in the media, and sought to remedy the issue of wrongful convictions in the political arena. He makes a strong case for the need for Innocence Commissions in every state, showing that not only do Innocence Commissions help to identify weaknesses in the criminal justice system and offer workable improvements, but also protect society by helping to ensure that actual perpetrators are expeditiously identified, arrested, and brought to trial. Everyone has an interest in preventing wrongful convictions, from police officers and prosecutors, who seek the latest and best investigative techniques, to taxpayers, who want an efficient criminal justice system, to suspects who are erroneously pursued and sometimes convicted. Free of legal jargon and written for a general audience, The Innocence Commission is instructive, informative, and highly compelling reading.
Author: Sarah Lucy Cooper
Release Date: 2016-05-13
Controversies in Innocence Cases in America brings together leading experts on the investigation, litigation, and scholarly analysis of innocence cases in America, from legal, political and ethical perspectives. The contributors, many of whom work on these cases daily, investigate contemporary issues presented by innocence cases and the exoneration movement as a whole. These issues include the challenges faced by the movement, causes of wrongful convictions, problems associated with investigating, proving, and defining 'innocence', and theories of reform. Each issue is placed within a multi-disciplinary perspective to provide cogent observations and recommendations for the effective handling of these cases, and for what changes should be adopted in order to improve the American criminal justice system when it is faced with its most harrowing sight: an innocent defendant.
Author: Matthew Syed
Publisher: John Murray
Release Date: 2015-09-10
The Sunday Times No.1 Bestseller From the Bestselling Author of Bounce What links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google? What links Team Sky and the aviation industry? What connects James Dyson and David Beckham? They are all Black Box Thinkers. Black Box Thinking is a new approach to high performance, a means of finding an edge in a complex and fast-changing world. It is not just about sport, but has powerful implications for business and politics, as well as for parents and students. In other words, all of us. Drawing on a dizzying array of case studies and real-world examples, together with cutting-edge research on marginal gains, creativity and grit, Matthew Syed tells the inside story of how success really happens - and how we cannot grow unless we are prepared to learn from our mistakes.
Author: Martin Yant
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release Date: 1991
Genre: Social Science
The American judicial system is far too often a source of injustice for the innocent rather than justice for the guilty. Despite all the alleged protections built into the trial process, a person facing criminal charges is virtually presumed guilty until proven innocent - not the reverse. Presumed Guilty is about thousands of innocent Americans who each year are convicted of serious crimes they did not commit. Many are convicted of crimes that did not even occur.Journalist Martin Yant vividly and dramatically explains the process by which American justice is miscarried, providing carefully researched details about more than 100 wrongful convictions.Yant's writing reveals both passion and frustration as he explains how most mistaken convictions could easily be avoided. No criminal justice system is infallable, he writes, but most errors aren't the result of carefully considered decisions that happen to be wrong. He cites examples of outrageous carelessness, investigations that conform facts to predetermined theories, the use of long-discredited investigative techniques, rampant prejudice, and the desire of police and prosecutors to win convictions at any price - even if evidence is fabricated to do so.Yant goes on to propose achievable solutions that would not only prevent years of imprisonment for the wrongfully convicted but also save the lives of innocent individuals who face the increasingly used death penalty. Presumed Guilty reveals not only how often the American justice system goes awry, but how easily - and how quickly - it is possible to become its victim.Harrowing revelations. Los Angeles Times
Author: Adam Benforado
Release Date: 2015
"A crusading legal scholar exposes the powerful psychological forces that undermine our criminal justice system--and affect us all Our nation is founded on the notion that the law is impartial, that legal cases are won or lost on the basis of evidence, careful reasoning and nuanced argument. But they may, in fact, turn on the temperature of the courtroom, the camera angle of a defendant's taped confession, or a simple word choice or gesture during a cross-examination. In Unfair, law professor Adam Benforado shines a light on this troubling new research, showing, for example, that people with certain facial features receive longer sentences and that judges are far more likely to grant parole first thing in the morning. In fact, over the last two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have uncovered many cognitive forces that operate beyond our conscious awareness--and Benforado argues that until we address these hidden biases head-on, the social inequality we see now will only widen, as powerful players and institutions find ways to exploit the weaknesses in our legal system. Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases--from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park Jogger case--Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society's weakest members, convicting the innocent while letting dangerous criminals go free. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the problem and proposes a wealth of reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law"--
Author: Stanley Cohen
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2016-04-05
Genre: Social Science
“A landmark in the fight against the death penalty. Extensively researched and brilliantly written” (Martin Garbus, criminal defense attorney). This investigation into wrongful convictions illustrates the tragic consequences that ensue when the American legal system goes awry. Whether it’s by eyewitness error, jailhouse snitch testimony, corrupt law enforcement, racism, junk science, tainted jury deliberation, prosecutorial misconduct, or incompetent counsel, gross malfeasance is all too possible, and not uncommon. Yet, while many innocent people are put on death row, there’s still an opportunity for justice. Award-winning journalist Stanley Cohen chronicles more than forty cases of men across the country who were arrested, convicted, sentenced, degraded by prison life, dragged through the appeals system, and finally set free because of evidence proving their innocence. These stories end with vindication, but in a country that has performed nearly a thousand executions since 1976, how many more inmates are suffering injustice at the hands of the justice system? The solution to America’s tarnished legal system may be elusive, but the questions raised in this “valuable accounting of a hidden societal plague” cannot be ignored (Kirkus Reviews).