Convicting the Innocent
In the last few years research has identified at least 900 official exonerations of people who were convicted of felonies, although they had nothing to do with the crimes. In some cases no crime was every committed. Researchers believe that many more miscarriages of justice occur. A good deal of work has uncovered reasons why this happens. It is often the result of mistaken eyewitness identification, but a dozen other factors are involved. About 50 innocence projects now work to exonerated falsely convicted people and many states and police departments are taking steps to make criminal investigations more accurate.
Professor Marv Zalman, teaches classes on constitutional law (criminal procedure), criminal justice policy and wrongful conviction. Most of his research and writing in recent years has been focused on the topic of wrongful convictions. He has authored a textbook, Criminal Procedure: Constitution and Society, Sixth Edition (Prentice Hall, 2011) in addition to numerous research articles, chapters, and encyclopedia articles on wrongful conviction.