Arresting Development: Convictions of Innocent Youth
57 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2012
Date Written: August 23, 2010
This is the first quantitative study documenting and analyzing a dataset of wrongfully convicted individuals who were teenagers or younger when first accused. The article explores the causes and factors leading to these wrongful convictions and offers reasons why youth may be particularly vulnerable to being convicted for crimes they did not commit. The data shows that these young exonerees falsely confessed at a rate almost double that of an adult dataset of exonerees, and that police-induced false statements from youth play a role in more than half of the cases. The article also proposes reforms to prevent future wrongful convictions of youth.
Keywords: wrongful convictions, youth, juvenile, false confessions
JEL Classification: K10, K19, K30, K39, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation