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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Wrongful Convictions and the DNA Revolution: Twenty-Five Years of Freeing the Innocent

Edited by: Daniel S. Medwed

ISBN13: 9781107129962
Published: March 2017
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £79.99
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9781107570467

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For centuries, most people believed the criminal justice system worked - that only guilty defendants were convicted. DNA technology shattered that belief. DNA has now freed more than 300 innocent prisoners in the United States.

This book examines the lessons learned from twenty-five years of DNA exonerations and identifies lingering challenges. By studying the dataset of DNA exonerations, we know that precise factors lead to wrongful convictions. These include eyewitness misidentifications, false confessions, dishonest informants, poor defense lawyering, weak forensic evidence, and prosecutorial misconduct. In Part I, scholars discuss the efforts of the Innocence Movement over the past quarter century to expose the phenomenon of wrongful convictions and to implement lasting reforms. In Part II, another set of researchers looks ahead and evaluates what still needs to be done to realize the ideal of a more accurate system.

Other Jurisdictions , USA
Foreword Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld
Introduction. Talking about a revolution: a quarter century of DNA exonerations Daniel S. Medwed
Innocence before DNA Michael Meltsner

Part I. A Look Back - What Have We Learned from 25 Years of DNA Exonerations?

Section 1. The Big Picture:
1. Convicting the innocent redux Brandon L. Garrett
2. Has the innocence movement become an exoneration movement? The risks and rewards of redefining innocence Richard A. Leo
Section 2. A Closer Look at Specific Lessons:
3. Negotiating accuracy - DNA in the age of plea bargaining Alexandra Natapoff
4. Reacting to recantations Rob Warden
5. A tale of two innocence clinics - client representation and legislative advocacy Jacqueline McMurtrie
Section 3. The DNA Era and Changing Views of the Death Penalty:
6. How DNA has changed contemporary death penalty debates Michael L. Radelet
7. What does innocence have to do with cruel and unusual punishment? Robert J. Smith, G. Ben Cohen and Zoe Robinson

Part II. A Glance Ahead - What Can Be Done to Avoid Wrongful Convictions in the Future?

Section 4. Substantive Reforms:
8. Flawed science and the new wave of innocents Keith A. Findley
9. Prosecutors - the thin last line protecting the innocent George C. Thomas, III
10. Ineffective assistance of counsel and the innocence revolution - a standards-based approach Adele Bernhard
Section 5. Procedural Changes:
11. Post-conviction procedure - the next frontier in innocence reform Stephanie Roberts Hartung
12. Can we protect the innocent without freeing the guilty? Thoughts on innocence reforms that avoid harmful tradeoffs Paul G. Cassell
13. Retrospective justice in the age of innocence - the hard case of rape executions Margaret Burnham
14. Outbreaks of injustice - responding to systemic irregularities in the criminal justice system Sandra Guerra Thompson and Robert Wicoff
15. Exonerating the innocent - habeas for nonhuman animals Justin F. Marceau and Steven Wise
Section 6. The International Arena:
16. The global innocence movement Mark Godsey
17. Innocence at war Erik Luna.