Prosecutors and Victims: Why Wrongful Convictions Matter

19 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2017

See all articles by Jeanne Bishop

Jeanne Bishop

Office of the Cook County Public Defender

Mark William Osler

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Often, discussions of wrongful convictions focus almost entirely on the wrongfully convicted and ignore two important constituencies: prosecutors and crime victims. Both constituencies have unique connections to wrongful convictions and should be recognized as potentially powerful allies for change. Prosecutors are deeply committed to justice and to the outcomes of their cases; they can help identify and correct wrongful convictions and introduce policies to avoid wrongful convictions in the first place. Wrongful convictions matter to crime victims because convicting the wrong person leaves the real perpetrator free to commit more crimes, creates a new, innocent victim, and drains resources that could be devoted to victim services. The authors argue for a broader recognition of the strong interest prosecutors and crime victims have in avoiding wrongful convictions and a more robust role for both stakeholders in the discussion.

Keywords: criminal law, crime victims, prosecutors

Suggested Citation

Bishop, Jeanne and Osler, Mark William, Prosecutors and Victims: Why Wrongful Convictions Matter (2017). 105 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1031 (2017), U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2910781

Jeanne Bishop

Office of the Cook County Public Defender

United States

Mark William Osler (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States
(254) 717-7032 (Phone)

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