The United States criminal justice system is typically an accurate and efficient system—although, as a human creation, it is not perfect. This course will employ a social scientific perspective to understand why innocent people are sometimes convicted of crimes they did not commit. In this course we will discuss wrongful convictions, their causes, and their solutions.
Each week we
will cover two lessons in the course. Each lesson, while related, will be considered independently.
Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
Social Science and Public Policy: Due Process and Crime Control
Wrongful Conviction Defined
Wrongful Conviction Demographics and Statistics
Wrongful Conviction and the Criminal Justice Process—Where do things go wrong?
Causes of Wrongful Conviction: Eyewitness Misidentification—An Introduction
Causes of Wrongful Conviction: Eyewitness Misidentification—System Variables
Causes of Wrongful Conviction: Eyewitness Misidentification—Estimator Variables
Causes of Wrongful Conviction: False Confessions
Causes of Wrongful Conviction: Jailhouse Snitches and Informants
Causes of Wrongful Conviction: Government Misconduct and Poor Defense
Myths and Misconceptions of Decision-Makers: Judges, Juries, and the Public
Using Social Science to Prevent Wrongful Convictions
What can you do?
- Tim Robicheaux - Department of Sociology and Criminology