Elephants in the Station House: Serial Crimes, Wrongful Convictions, and Expanding Wrongful Conviction Analysis to Include Police Investigation
105 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 13, 2016
In this article we advocate that the study of miscarriages of justice be expanded to view the entirety of police crime investigation as a source of wrongful convictions. We set this proposal in a framework of how the inductive innocence paradigm was developed and analyze how the term “causation” is used in legal, scientific and case analysis. We then explore a subject not yet addressed by wrongful conviction scholarship but that may confront an investigator: whether an unsolved crime is the work of a serial criminal and whether a suspect is the serial criminal. We examine a convenience sample of forty-four exonerees convicted of crimes committed by thirty serial criminals. The analysis is aimed at opening up a discussion of the kind of complexity that investigators face in hard-to-solve cases.
Keywords: wrongful conviction, miscarriage of justice, actual innocence, legal causation, serial crime
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