logo

Features - Wrongful Conviction and Innocence Resources on the Internet

By Ken Strutin, Published on June 10, 2006

Ken Strutin (JD, MLS) is an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker. He is the author of The Insider's Guide: Criminal Justice Resources on the Internet, and has lectured extensively about the benefits of using the Internet for legal research at national and local CLE training programs. Mr. Strutin also wrote ALI-ABA's Practice Checklist Manual on Representing Criminal Defendants, and co-authored the award winning Legal Research Methodology computer tutorial, published by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). He has contributed chapters to several books and written many articles concerning knowledge management, legal research and criminal law. Mr. Strutin has taught courses in Advanced Legal Research and Law Office Management. He is also listed in Who's Who in American Law. Currently, Mr. Strutin is the Director of Legal Information Services at the New York State Defenders Association and writes a column for the New York Law Journal.

Introduction

Many people have been falsely accused and wrongly convicted in our criminal justice system.1 This bibliography focuses on the key websites and resources concerning this important issue.

Current AwarenessCase ProfilesConferences and Trainers
Innocence ProjectsReportsOrganizations
Innocence Project ResourcesLegislationBibliographies
CommissionsCourses 

Current Awareness

News about people who have been exonerated by DNA or released from prison after the discovery of new evidence or governmental misconduct can be found by searching various online media sources. And there are a few websites that do an excellent job of monitoring and collecting these stories.


<Table of Contents>

Innocence Projects

Several innocence projects have assembled contact lists of projects across the country and internationally. In most cases, they provide mailing addresses, some emails and web links. There is also information available about starting innocence projects.

Lists of Projects and Pro Bono Attorneys

Resources

Commissions

In the United States, commissions have been created, and more are in the planning stages, to investigate the efficacy of DNA testing for post-conviction relief and to examine the causes of and recommend procedures to forestall wrongful convictions. In the United Kingdom commissions look into claims of actual innocence, and in Canada similar bodies have been convened to investigate specific cases.

United States

<Table of Contents>

Case Profiles

Many of the innocence projects publish collections of profiles about the persons exonerated through their efforts, and in other cases.

Reports

This is a collection of a few seminal reports on wrongful conviction published by the government, academics, various organizations and the media.

<Table of Contents>

Legislation

The laws of interest for the wrongfully convicted range from regulations governing the conduct of witness lineups and police interrogations to DNA statutes authorizing preservation and testing.

<Table of Contents>

 

Courses

Law schools, journalism programs, criminal justice schools, universities and colleges offer courses on wrong conviction and related topics. And the Innocence Project at Cardozo Law School has developed electronic course materials, Wrongful Convictions Course, used by many educational institutions.

<Table of Contents>

 

Conferences and Trainers

In addition to the annual National Innocence Conference and Unlocking Innocence: An International Conference on Avoiding Wrongful Conviction, there are many training opportunities on related aspects of this issue and criminal defense in general, such as the death penalty, forensics, eyewitness identification, and DNA evidence. These trainers are often sponsored by innocence projects, criminal bar associations, and public defense organizations.

<Table of Contents>

 

Organizations

This is a select list of major organizations with information concerning wrongful conviction, individual rights and the death penalty.

Bibliographies and Other Resources

There are collections of wrongful conviction materials published on the web, and links to other key criminal justice research tools. In some cases, the full-text documents are available.

Footnote

1 See generally C. Ronald Huff et al., Convicted But Innocent: Wrongful Conviction and Public Policy 62 (1996); Samuel R. Gross et al., Exonerations in the United States 1989 Through 2003, 95 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 523, 551 (2005); Death Penalty Information Center (Issues: Innocence); and Innocence Project (Case Profiles: Chronological Listing).