Updated 5-30-21. First articles, then books.
• See below a list of books about wrongful convictions and related issues, recommended by the highly valued Innocence Project, which works nationwide to free the innocent and reform our criminal justice system. See The Innocence Project: A Short History Since 1983 (Black Past). "DNA testing has exonerated more than 345 innocent people in the United States – and others are still waiting for justice."
• Also of interest: The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), based in Montgomery, Alabama, "provides legal representation to prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes, poor prisoners without effective representation, and others who may have been denied a fair trial." Read about it in the bestseller Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. On EJI's website (with links to material on racial justice, children in prison, mass incarceration, the death penalty, and "just mercy"): "Since 1973, 166 people have been released from death row after evidence of their innocence was uncovered. A shocking rate of error has emerged: for every nine people executed in this country, one innocent person has been exonerated."
Articles about wrongful convictions (and exonerations)
• Sentenced to death, but innocent: These are stories of justice gone wrong. (Phillip Morris, National Geographic, 2-18-21) Since 1973, more than 8,700 people in the U.S. have been sent to death row. At least 182 weren’t guilty—their lives upended by a system that nearly killed them.
• Wrongful conviction podcasts
• Wrongful Convictions (National Institute of Justice) Articles and other resources on such topics as DNA testing,forensic science, erroneous identification.
• Causes of wrongful conviction (Innocence Clinic, Michigan Law, University of MIchigan)
• List of Wrongful Convictions (Wikipedia)
• New Docuseries Highlights the Impact of Wrong Convictions (Sameer Rao, ColorLines, 10-30-18) The first episode of Vice’s “Innocence Ignored” explores the many drawbacks of Alford pleas, which prevent compensation for the wrongfully convicted.
• National Registry of Exonerations (a project of the Newkirk Center for Science & Society at University of California Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University College of Law) See Registry tallies over 2,000 wrongful convictions since 1989 ( David G. Savage, Washington Bureau, Los Angeles Times, 5-20-12) More than 2,000 people have been freed from prison in the U.S. since 1989 after they were found to have been wrongly convicted of serious crimes, according to a new National Registry of Exonerations compiled by University of Michigan Law School and Northwestern University. Follow Exoneration Registry.
• Wrongful Convictions: A New Exoneration Registry Tests Stubborn Judges (Andrew Cohen, The Atlantic, 5-21-12)
• Righting Wrongful Convictions of Youth: What You Can Do (Terry Keleher, ColorLines, 10-4-09) Each year in the US, millions of young people interact with juvenile and criminal courts where they often face unfair treatment and racial discrimination.
• Articles about wrongful convictions (ColorLines) See
Books about wrongful conviction and related issues
*DISCLOSURE: Buy anything from Amazon after clicking on a link here and I get a tiny referral fee for your purchases, with no additional cost to you. Even better, encourage your library to buy these books from the publisher, and check them out of the library.
• Actual Innocence: When Justice Goes Wrong and How to Make it Right by Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld, and Jim Dwyer (2000)
• Adams vs. Texas: The True Story Made Famous by the Highly Acclaimed Film The Thin Blue Line by Randall Adams, with William Hoffer and . Read More