Miscarriages of Justice - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124115583, 9780124095281

Miscarriages of Justice

1st Edition

Actual Innocence, Forensic Evidence, and the Law

eBook ISBN: 9780124095281
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124115583
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 2nd June 2014
Page Count: 416
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Miscarriages of justice are a regular occurrence in the criminal justice system, which is characterized by government agencies that are understaffed, underfunded, and undertrained across the board. We know this because, every week, DNA testing and innocence projects across the United States help to identify and eventually overturn wrongful convictions. As a result, the exonerated go free and the stage is set for addressing criminal and civil liability. Criminal justice students and professionals therefore have a need to be made aware of the miscarriage problem as a threshold issue. They need to know what a miscarriage of justice looks like, how to recognize it's many forms, and what their duty of care might be in terms of prevention. They also need to appreciate that identifying miscarriages, and ensuring legal remedy, is  an important function of the system that must be honored by all criminal justice professionals.
The purpose of this textbook is to move beyond the law review, casebook, and true crime publications that comprise the majority of miscarriage literature. While informative, they are not designed for teaching students in a classroom setting. This text is written for use at the undergraduate level in journalism, sociology, criminology and criminal justice programs - to introduce college students to the miscarriage phenomenon in a structured fashion. The language is more broadly accessible than can be found in legal texts, and the coverage is multidisciplinary.
Miscarriages of Justice: Actual Innocence, Forensic Evidence, and the Law focuses on the variety of miscarriages issues in the United States legal system. Written by leaders in the field, it is particularly valuable to forensic scientists and attorneys evaluating evidence or preparing for trial or appeal in cases where faulty evidence features prominently. It is also of value to those interested in developing arguments for miscarriage in post-conviction review of criminal cases. Chapters focus specifically on issues of law enforcement bias and corruption; false confessions; ineffective counsel and prosecutorial misconduct; forensic fraud; and more. The book closes by examining innocence projects and commissions, and civil remedies for the wrongfully convicted.
This text ultimately presents the issue of miscarriages as a systemic and multi-disciplinary criminal justice issue. It provides perspectives from within the professional CJ community, and it serves as warning to future professionals about the dangers and consequences of apathy, incompetence, and neglect. Consequently, it can be used by any CJ educator to introduce any group of CJ students to the problem.


Key Features

  • Written by practicing criminal justice professionals in plain language for undergraduate students
  • Covers multiple perspectives across the criminal justice system
  • Informed by experience working for Innocence Projects across the United States to achieve successful exonerations
  • Topical case examples to facilitate teaching and learning
  • Companion website featuring Discussion topics, Exam questions and PowerPoint slides: http://textbooks.elsevier.com/web/Manuals.aspx?isbn=9780124115583


Graduate and advanced graduate level forensic sciences courses. Will also appeal to those in the criminal justice, legal, criminology, and sociology fields – both professional and academic.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Foreword
  • About the Authors
  • About the Contributors
  • Section 1. Miscarriages of Justice: Nature and Frequency
    • Chapter 1. Miscarriages of Justice: An Introduction
      • The Role of the Criminal Justice System
      • Miscarriages of Justice
      • Miscarriages: A Typology
      • Historical Perspectives
      • Causal Factors
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 2. Wrongful Conviction Rates
      • Early Research
      • Contemporary Research
      • Correlates and Causes
      • Conclusion
  • Section 2. Miscarriages of Justice: Investigative Causes
    • Chapter 3. Police Corruption
      • Duty of Care
      • Breaking the Law to Uphold It
      • Noble Cause Corruption
      • Patrol Officers
      • Criminal Investigators
    • Chapter 4. Eyewitness Identification: Uncertainty, Error, and Miscarriages of Justice
      • A History of Unreliability
      • Memory
      • Specific Problems with Eyewitness Memory
      • New Jersey and the Henderson Case
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 5. Police Interrogations and False Confessions
      • What Is a False Confession?
      • False Confession Typology
      • Confession Law
      • Law Enforcement Interrogation and The Reid Technique
      • False Confessions, Inevitability, and Blame
    • Chapter 6. Criminal Informants and Wrongful Convictions
      • Informants as an Investigative Tool
      • Types of Informants
      • Informants and Wrongful Convictions
      • Incompetent or Corruptible
      • Suggested Reforms
  • Section 3. Miscarriages of Justice: Forensic Causes
    • Chapter 7. Forensic Science, The CSI Effect, and Wrongful Convictions
      • The CSI Effect
      • Forensic Science Under Scrutiny
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 8. Forensic Fraud and Misconduct
      • Cultural Conflicts
      • Scientific Misconduct
      • Differentiating Fraud and Negligence
      • False Testimony
      • Forensic Fraud
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 9. Bitemark Evidence and Miscarriages of Justice
      • Introduction
      • Professional Status of Those Practicing Bitemark Comparison
      • Bitemark Analysis: The Evidence, Methods, and Assumptions
      • A Brief Legal Discussion
      • Descriptions of Bitemark Exonerations and Erroneous Incarcerations
      • Descriptions of Wrongful Arrests Based on Bitemark Evidence
  • Section 4. Miscarriages of Justice: Legal Causes
    • Chapter 10. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
      • The Right to “Effective” Counsel
      • Criminal Defense Attorneys: Structure and Function
      • The Presumption of Innocence
      • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
      • Pretrial Effectiveness Issues
      • Effectiveness Issues at Trial
    • Chapter 11. Prosecutorial Misconduct
      • Criminal Prosecutors: Structure and Function
      • Prosecutorial Misconduct: Numbers and Origins
      • Misconduct with Law Enforcement
      • Pretrial Misconduct
      • Ethical Issues during Trial
      • Incentivized Misconduct
  • Section 5. Miscarriages of Justice: Remedies
    • Chapter 12. Forensic Reform
      • The Legal Community: A Unique Perspective
      • Forensic Science and Miscarriages of Justice
      • The NAS Report
      • Forensic Reform
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 13. Miscarriages of Justice: Prevention and Management
      • The Professional Obligation to Reform
      • Preventative Reforms
      • Postconviction Efforts
      • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • Index


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© Academic Press 2014
Academic Press
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