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Predicting Erroneous Convictions: A Social Science Approach to Miscarriages of Justice (NCJ 241389)

This study examines why innocent people are wrongfully convicted in certain cases yet acquitted in others. The researchers studied 460 violent felonies that occurred between 1980 and 2012 to identify ten factors that led to a wrongful conviction of an innocent person instead of a dismissal or acquittal. The final report offers recommendations to help prevent erroneous convictions, including recommendations on defense practice, exculpatory evidence, eyewitness identification, false confessions, forensic error, police misconduct, weak prosecution evidence, systemic failures and tunnel vision.
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Jon B. Gould (American University), Julia Carrano (American University), Richard Leo (University of San Francisco School of Law), Joseph Young (American University)
Updated October 20, 2014