Righting Wrongful Convictions: Policy and Legislative Reform

Catalog No.: 346

Course Description:

Legislative process and criminal justice reform are studied through the lens of systemic problems of wrongful conviction. Background on the impact of DNA technology on the justice system gives context to the legislative process and law reforms now being debated in the states and federal justice systems. Focusing on the leading causes of wrongful convictions (mistaken eyewitness identification, false confession and use of jailhouse informant testimony), students consider legislative and non-legislative reforms. Students will hear from prosecutors and law enforcement to add balance and perspective to the often conflicting but legitimate concerns of diverse interest groups. No exam. Students have the option of writing a paper or doing an individual or group project. Grades will be based on class participation and final project.