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 c

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:


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


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© 2014
Academic Press
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About the authors

Brent Turvey

Brent E. Turvey spent his first years in college on a pre-med track only to change his course of study once his true interests took hold. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University in Psychology, with an emphasis on Forensic Psychology, and an additional Bachelor of Science degree in History. He went on to receive his Masters of Science in Forensic Science after studying at the University of New Haven, in West Haven, Connecticut. Since graduating in 1996, Brent has consulted with many agencies, attorneys, and police departments in the United States, Australia, China, Canada, Barbados and Korea on a range of rapes, homicides, and serial/ multiple rape/ death cases, as a forensic scientist and criminal profiler. He has also been court qualified as an expert in the areas of criminal profiling, forensic science, victimology, and crime reconstruction. In August of 2002, he was invited by the Chinese People's Police Security University (CPPSU) in Beijing to lecture before groups of detectives at the Beijing, Wuhan, Hanzou, and Shanghai police bureaus. In 2005, he was invited back to China again, to lecture at the CPPSU, and to the police in Beijing and Xian - after the translation of the 2nd edition of his text into Chinese for the University. In 2007, he was invited to lecture at the 1st Behavioral Sciences Conference at the Home Team (Police) Academy in Singapore, where he also provided training to their Behavioral Science Unit. In 2012 Brent completed his PhD in Criminology from Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia. He is the author of Criminal Profiling: An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Editions (1999, 2002, 2008, 2011); co- author of the Rape Investigation Handbook, 1st and 2nd Editions (2004, 2011), Crime Reconstruction 1st and 2nd Editions (2006, 2011), Forensic Victimology (2008) and Forensic Fraud (2013) - all with Elsevier Science. He is currently a full partner, Forensic Scientist, C