Friday, January 23, 2009

New Law Review Articles Address Forensics, False Confessions and the Un-Exonerated Innocent

From the national Innocence Project blog:

The newly released 2008 Annual Review of Law and Social Science includes three articles by leading researchers and thinkers on the causes of wrongful convictions and their frequency.

An article by University of Michigan School of Law Professor Sam Gross “explores some of the types of false convictions that almost never come to light— innocent defendants who plead guilty rather than go to trial, who receive comparatively light sentences, who are convicted of crimes that did not occur (as opposed to crimes committed by other people), who are sentenced in juvenile court—in fact, almost all innocent defendants who are convicted of any crimes other than rape or murder. Judging from what we can piece together, the vast majority of false convictions fall in these categories. They are commonplace events, inconspicuous mistakes in ordinary criminal investigations that never get anything close to the level of attention that sometimes leads to exoneration.”

Professors Michael Saks and David Faigman author an article about “how forensic science lost is way and how it might yet find it,” and false confession expert Saul Kassin, a professor at John Jay College, writes about the psychology that’s at play when innocent people admit to crimes they didn’t commit.

See the whole post here.

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