Elephants in the Station House: Serial Crimes, Wrongful Convictions, and Expanding Wrongful Conviction Analysis to Include Police Investigation

105 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2016

See all articles by Marvin Zalman

Marvin Zalman

Wayne State University

Matthew Larson

Wayne State University

Date Written: January 13, 2016

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Zalman, Marvin and Larson, Matthew, Elephants in the Station House: Serial Crimes, Wrongful Convictions, and Expanding Wrongful Conviction Analysis to Include Police Investigation (January 13, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2716155 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2716155

Marvin Zalman (Contact Author)

Wayne State University ( email )

Detroit, MI 48202
United States

Matthew Larson

Wayne State University ( email )

United States
313-577-9971 (Phone)
313-577-9977 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://clas.wayne.edu/mattjlarson

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