Law 165 - An Introduction to Wrongful Convictions: Causes, Cures, and Methods for Investigation
Jennifer L. Mnookin
J.D. Yale, 1995
Ph.D. History and Social Study of Science and Technology, M.I.T., 1999
This course will provide an introduction to the causes and potential cures of wrongful convictions within our judicial system. Our first session will focus on the emergence of DNA exonerations, the big picture surrounding wrongful convictions, and will also provide an introduction to the difficult issues surrounding how to empirically assess wrongful convictions. The following four sessions will each look at one particular contributing cause to wrongful convictions: (1) mistaken eyewitness identification; (2) false confessions; (3) faulty forensic science evidence; and (4) prosecutorial misconduct. The final session will look at potential reforms to reduce the prevalence of wrongful convictions, and what the pros and cons – and potential unintended consequences – of these reforms might be. Students will be expected to write short (2-3 page) response papers to the readings for three of sessions. In addition, they will also be expected to write a brief (3-5 page) synopsis and critique of an academic article of their choice (from a list provided); these synopses will be distributed to the class.
|Jennifer Mnookin||20S||165||LEC 9||W 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM||1.0||No||No|
|Class will meet on 1/22, 2/5, 2/19, 3/4, 3/18, 4/8 in room 2448.|