WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS: CAUSES AND REMEDIES
(LAWW-4042) - 2 UNITS
In this weeklong pass/fail course, we will examine wrongful convictions, one of the most important topics in criminal justice today. By reading primary source materials and cases from around the nation as well as viewing pertinent documentary films, we will explore the elements and causes of wrongful conviction, including Brady and other Prosecutorial Misconduct, Ineffective Assistance of Defense Counsel, Police Misconduct, Junk Science, False Confessions, Mistaken Identification and Actual Innocence. We will look at how Innocence Projects and others fight to reverse wrongful convictions in court through the writ of Habeas Corpus and other legal proceedings, and we will talk about reforms that are being discussed and in some cases implemented to reduce the number of wrongful convictions. Finally, students will be given a choice of writing a short paper about an aspect of wrongful conviction or performing the initial screening evaluation of a letter sent to the Project for the Innocent by an inmate in the California state prison, asking for help with his or her innocence claim.