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The Banality of Wrongful Executions

17 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2014 Last revised: 19 Feb 2014

Brandon L. Garrett

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: February 15, 2014


What is so haunting about the known wrongful convictions is that they are the tip of the iceberg. Untold numbers of mundane errors may escape notice while sending the innocent to prison and even to the death chamber. That is why I recommended to readers a trilogy of fascinating new books that look into the larger but murkier problem of error. In this article for Michigan Law Review's annual book issue, I review three books: Los Tocayos Carlos, by James Liebman, Shawn Crowley, Andrew Markquart, Lauren Rosenberg, Lauren Gallo White and Daniel Zharkovsky; Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong, by Raymond Bonner; and In Doubt: The Psychology of the Criminal Justice Process, by Dan Simon. Each of these books brings important new perspective and understanding to the reasons why our criminal justice system can make terrible mistakes.

Suggested Citation

Garrett, Brandon L., The Banality of Wrongful Executions (February 15, 2014). Michigan Law Review, Vol. 112, 2014, Forthcoming; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2014-18. Available at SSRN:

Brandon L. Garrett (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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