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Convictions

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Wrongful Convictions: The Latest Scientific Research & Implications for Law Enforcement

March, 2013

What does science tell us about case factors that can lead to a wrongful conviction? Dr. Jon Gould of American University will discuss the findings of the first large-scale empirical study that has identified ten statistically significant factors that distinguish a wrongful conviction from a "near miss." (A "near miss" is a case in which an innocent defendant was acquitted or had charges dismissed before trial). Following Dr. Gould's presentation, Mr. John R.

Just Wrong: The Aftermath of Wrongful Convictions

October, 2017

The strength of our criminal justice system depends on its ability to convict the guilty and clear the innocent. But we know that innocent people are sometimes wrongfully convicted and the guilty remain free to victimize others. The consequences of a wrongful conviction are far-reaching for the wrongfully convicted and the survivors and victims of the original crimes. 

Wrongful Convictions

The strength of our criminal justice system depends on its accuracy — its ability to convict the guilty and to clear the innocent. But we know that wrongful convictions happen. Identifying and understanding the causes of wrongful convictions is critical to maintaining the integrity of our justice system.

A conviction may be classified as wrongful for two reasons:

Research Meetings and Workshops

NIJ learns from the people who work day-to-day with the issues. We sponsor meetings, workshops, and working groups that bring together researchers, policymakers, technologists, and practitioners.

These meetings generate a rich exchange of ideas. They guide future research and help ensure that NIJ's research, development and evaluation activities meet real-world needs.

Review the summaries or transcripts available for many of these meetings:

Just Wrong: The Aftermath of Wrongful Convictions

October, 2017

The strength of our criminal justice system depends on its ability to convict the guilty and clear the innocent. But we know that innocent people are sometimes wrongfully convicted and the guilty remain free to victimize others. The consequences of a wrongful conviction are far-reaching for the wrongfully convicted and the survivors and victims of the original crimes.

Erroneous Convictions in Criminal Justice

March, 2013

Interview with Jon Gould, Ph.D., Director of the Washington Institute for Public and International Affairs Research, American University.

Dr. Gould discusses:

  • Bottom line findings from the study "Predicting Erroneous Convictions: A Social Science Approach to Miscarriages of Justice"
  • Ten statistically significant factors related to wrongful convictions
  • The role of systemic error and tunnel vision