Edwin Borchard’s Innocence Project: The Origin and Legacy of His Wrongful Conviction Scholarship

Wrongful Conviction Law Review, vol 1, no. 1, pp. 124-146

23 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2020

Date Written: June 19, 2020

Abstract

The article recognizes the life and work of Edwin Montefiore Borchard, the founder of US innocence scholarship, as fitting for the Wrongful Conviction Law Review’s inaugural issue. The sources of his scholarship are located in his life and times in the early twentieth century US Progressive movement. The links between Borchard's other legal scholarship and his wrongful conviction writings are explained. Borchard's writings and advocacy leading to his main work, Convicting the Innocent, and passage of the federal exoneree compensation law are described. The article concludes that Borchard's lasting legacy is to refute innocence denial, a deeply help belief that wrongful convictions never occur or are vanishingly rare.

Keywords: wrongful conviction, Edwin Borchard, Progressivism, exoneree compensation

Suggested Citation

Zalman, Marvin, Edwin Borchard’s Innocence Project: The Origin and Legacy of His Wrongful Conviction Scholarship (June 19, 2020). Wrongful Conviction Law Review, vol 1, no. 1, pp. 124-146, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3631315

Marvin Zalman (Contact Author)

Wayne State University ( email )

Department of Physiology, Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
United States

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