Experiments Conducted by Students on Wrongful Convictions

This study is designed to investigate the influence of students’ knowledge on wrongful convictions based on their education of the criminal justice system. They hypothesized that criminal justice majors would have more knowledge of the factors that underline wrongful convictions than noncriminal justice majors. Two hundred and ninety-seven undergraduate students were divided into one or two groups. The first group was criminal justice majors whereas the second group was other majors. Each participant was asked to answer a survey that consisted of 15 questions that revolved around five factors of wrongful convictions such as police behavior, discrimination, evidence, and defense/ prosecutor practices.

The results indicated that each student had a general understanding of all 5 factors that contributes to wrongful convictions.

However, criminal justice major seems to disagree to these factors more than noncriminal justice students. Overall, the finding show that criminal justice students tend to experience tunnel vision when analyzing the following factors that may led to wrongful convictions. Stigma and wrongful convictions are designed to examine whether exonerees are stigmatized more than others.

The experimenter hypothesis that the fictional individual will be perceived as guilty by the majority of the participants. The participants were told to a read a fictional newspaper article about a fictional character who falsely confessed, was misidentified by a witness, or was incriminate by a jail house conformant, and then they must report their opinion on the individual. The control group did not receive a newspaper article. The results expressed that the exoneree who falsely confess seems to experience more stigmata rather than the other wrongful convicted factors.

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These finding suggest exonerated individual will not be perceived in the same way.

This empirical study is casting a light on how judges or a jury can make a mistake when convicting an innocent person or acquitting a guilty individual. The hypothesis analyzes people’s attitudes that can influence the Blackstone ratio such as the seriousness of the crime committed and the consequence of wrongful convictions. The researcher wanted to answer one question; How many guilty individuals with identical circumstances within their case can be acquitted in order to prevent one wrongful imprisonment? Therefore, participants were asked to read case scenarios that ended either with the judge acquitting or convicting the perpetrator. Results indicated when the seriousness of the crime is increasing the Blackstone ratio will decrease. However, the data does not have any significance to the public attitudes. The researcher found that people prefer to have a significant amount of proof when the case is less serious and vice versa.

Behind the confession is a study that is designed to analyze personality traits that can contribute to false confessions and consent to an interrogation setting which can cause a wrongful conviction. The researcher’s hypothesis that younger adults such as females, and Asians would score higher on being submissive during a police interrogation compared to older adults such as males and non-Asians. Participants took two different studies that focused on psychopathic traits, interrogation behavior, and providing a false confession. The results revealed that females and Asian women scored significantly higher in compliance level than males of a non- Asian descent. Based on this study the researcher found that personality trait such as psychopaths have recently been introduced therefore making a new factor within police interrogation.

The following research was designed to determine how suspicion can be aimed towards an individual. The authors hypothesized that innocent individuals can become a suspect within a criminal investigation that leads to wrongful convictions. The researchers collect a sample size of 460 felony cases divided into 260 wrongful conviction cases and 200 dismissed cases. After data collection, they analyzed their information by categorizing it into a model of origin of the implication that provided details on how an innocent person can enter the criminal justice system. The results illustrated how more than 60% of innocent people were implicated due to tunnel vision within police practices. The researcher found that minority defendants are less likely to be implicated on purpose by an individual who knew they were innocent than Caucasian defendants.

This study examines the challenges exonerees face when reentering society and how compensation may be helpful when recreating one’s life after incarceration. There were three hypotheses conducted: One, the authors hypothesized that financial compensation would be different according to one’s ethnicity. Two, an participate perception on exonerees compensation can be determined off their conviction history. Three, a participate political view can became a negative influence. Participants took an online survey that included scenarios and questionnaires. The results stated that males, minorities, and older adults believe that exoneree deserve the compensation they deserved. While on the other hand non-white participants believe that wrongful convictions occurred at frequently enough to notice there needs to be reform within the criminal justice system. Overall, they found that majority of their participants believe that the exonerees are being rewarded a fair amount of financial compensation.

This experiment examines wrongful convictions based on eyewitness misidentification. The researcher investigated whether Black men’s facial features can lead to misidentification. Participants viewed and then rated 115 randomly selected faces from the Innocence Project profiles of black men that were exonerated. Each photograph was displayed until the participants rated the face based on how stereotypically Black, they found the individual based on their own opinion. The researchers then found that the relations between face ratings and race of the eyewitness are not significant. However, there was a higher stereotypical face rating given to Black men who were exonerated than Black men who were incarcerated due to other factors. The finding indicated that Black men that have stereotypical facial features are at a higher risk for eyewitness misidentification and/ or biases.

The current study examine how mistaken identity are the primary cause of wrongful convictions. The investigator conducted two hypothesis the first hypothesis identifies how individuals’ haves’ stereotypes against perpetrators appearance that vary by the type of crime that was committed. Whereas, the second hypothesis assess the impact of stereotypes can have on eyewitness identification. Three studies were conducted to provide insight on what each participant perceived. Each participant believed that they would be randomly assigned to two different groups. One group would see only Black mug shots whereas the other group will only see White mug shot. While on the other hand, the researchers are showing each participants the exact same mug shot. After viewing each mug shot participants were told to decided which of the two targets committed the crime state in the given scenario. The results indicated that stereotypes about a perceived Black perpetrator do exist. They found that different crimes cause different stereotypes towards one’s ethnicities.

The study Framing innocence analyzed how wrongful convictions information can affect one’s attitude toward the justice system. Researchers conducted several hypotheses that revolve around wrongful conviction and how attitudes are shaped towards related policies such as policy preferences, system attitudes, and personal concerns. In addition, they hypothesis that a story about an individual who was wrongful convicted and received the death sentence can reduce the support on the death penalty and increase the support towards police reform. To test their hypothesis, they implemented two experimental surveys that consisted of a control and treatment group. The survey was designed to analyze the numbers of wrongful conviction and one’s support toward the death penalty. The subjects in the control group were questioned on their support towards capital punishment.

While the subjects in the treatment group were given information about people who were wrongful convicted and then were questioned on their support towards capital punishments. Result shown that the display of number of wrongful convictive individuals reduces the support towards capital punishment and causes distrust against the justice system. However, being told a story about an exoneree caused an increase support for police reform. Their findings implied that wrongful convictions are valuable for the public opinion in the criminal justice system that goes beyond the death penalty. This study examines the cause and challenges that surround wrongful convictions within the criminal justice system.

The researcher’s hypothesis citizen’s attitude towards the factors that contribute to wrongful convictions such as mistaken identity, false confession, jailhouse conformant, and error in forensic. Wayne State University Center for Urban Studies conducted a statewide survey on the residents of Michigan by randomly calling household telephone number. The participant who agreed to complete the survey were asked on their opinion the issues surrounding wrongful conviction and their attitude towards the criminal justice system. The researchers found that wrongful convictions occur often enough that change needs to happen. The results also indicated that support for criminal justice reform are greater within nonwhite residents. In addition, they discovered knowledge towards wrongful convictions and effect upon public opinion/ attitude towards innocence reform.

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Experiments Conducted by Students on Wrongful Convictions. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/california-state-university-los-angeles/

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