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Criminal Law

Texts and Treatises

ASU has a number of online and print resources related to wrongful convictions. Below is a short list of relevant titles from the ASU Library collection and from online resources available to Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law students and faculty. You can search for additional resources in the ASU Library catalog by using subject headings such as: Criminal procedure -- United StatesJudicial error -- United States. Print books available in other ASU libraries may be requested and delivered to you at the law library.

The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions: Forensic Science Reform (Wendy J. Koen & C. Michael Bowers, 2018)
This book examines weaknesses in criminal investigations and potentially misleading or faulty evidence that can lead to convictions of innocents.

Race and Justice: Wrongful Convictions of African American Men (Marvin D. Free, Jr. & Mitch Ruesink, 2012)
This academic ebook presents a statistical analysis of wrongful convictions of Black men for crimes including murder and drug offenses. It discusses the reasons behind faulty convictions, including flaws in policing and the court system.

Note: These books are currently unavailable at ASU Libraries and are recommendations from Professor Beety. They may be available through Interlibrary Loan ("ILL") if you would like to borrow them.

The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women's Liberation in Mass Incarceration (Aya Gruber, 2020)
Deploying vivid cases and unflinching analysis, The Feminist War on Crime documents the failure of the state to combat sexual and domestic violence through law and punishment.

Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction (Lara Bazelon, 2018)
In Rectify, a former Innocence Project director and journalist Lara Bazelon puts a face to the growing number of men and women exonerated from crimes that kept them behind bars for years—sometimes decades—and that devastate not only the exonerees but also their families, the crime victims who mistakenly identified them as perpetrators, the jurors who convicted them, and the prosecutors who realized too late that they helped convict an innocent person.

Smoke but No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened (Jessica S. Henry, 2020)
This monograph tells the heartbreaking stories of innocent people convicted of crimes that simply never happened.

Web Resources

Arizona Justice Project
Sandra Day O'Connor's Arizona Justice Project was established in 1998 and became the fifth organization in the United States created to help inmates overturn wrongful convictions.

American Academy of Forensic Sciences
This professional organization promotes scientific disciplines that seek to determine facts, including the circumstances and perpetrators of crimes.

The Death Penalty Information Center
The Death Penalty Information Center is a national non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment.

The Innocence Network
This partnership of organizations dedicated to uncovering instances of innocence in the criminal justice system fights wrongful convictions and advocates for reforms.

The Innocence Project
The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law, exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. Many states also have specialized Innocence Project organizations or similar groups

Northwestern Center for Wrongful Convictions
Since its founding following the 1998 National Conference on Wrongful Convictions and the Death Penalty, the Center has been instrumental in the exonerations of 23 innocent men and women in Illinois.

Journal of Forensic Science
This interdisciplinary journal published by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences is dedicated to scientific disciplines concerning fact-finding. Among other things, forensic science contribute to crime investigation strategies, which sometimes have led to questionable convictions.

Police Quarterly
This publication from Sage Journals concerns empirical studies related to police work, with an emphasis on public policy. More publications concerning the law and science of police work and criminology may be found in HeinOnline’s Criminal Law and Procedure and Criminology subject indexes.

Wrongful Convictions Blog
Law professors and other professionals comment on exonerations, forensic evidence, legislation and the criminal justice system.


CRS Reports - Crime Policy provides access to Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that are specific to criminal justice. CRS reports are authoritative, objective, and nonpartisan reports prepared for members of Congress. 

The National Registry of Exonerations
This Registry created by the University of Michigan Law School & Michigan State University College of Law collects, analyzes, and disseminates information about all known exonerations of innocent criminal defendants in the United States, from 1989 to the present. They publish exonerees stories and provide accessible, searchable online statistical data about their cases. The registry also conducts empirical studies of the process of exoneration and of factors that lead to the underlying wrongful convictions.