Criminal Justice Review
Discoveries of wrongful convictions have increased substantially over the last several decades. During this period, practitioners and scholars have been advocating for the adoption of policies aimed at reducing the likelihood of convicting a person for a crime they did not commit. Implementing such policies are vitally important not only because they help ensure that the innocent do not receive unwarranted sanctions or that the guilty go unpunished but also because cases of wrongful conviction can erode public confidence in the criminal justice system and trust in the rule of law. To avoid such outcomes, many states have adopted policies through legislation that aim to reduce system errors. It remains unclear, however, why some states appear more willing to provide due process protections against wrongful convictions than others. Findings suggest that dimensions of racial politics may help explain the reluctance of some states to adopt protections against wrongful convictions. Specifically, interaction terms show that states with a Republican governor and a large African American population are the least likely to adopt policies aimed at protecting against wrongful convictions. We thus identify important differences in the political and social context between U.S. states that influence the adoption of criminal justice policies.
Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications; http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0734016816684925
Carmichael, Jason T. and Kent, Stephanie L., "The Racial Politics of Due Process Protection: Does partisanship or racial composition influence state-level adoption of recorded interrogation policies?" (2017). Criminology, Anthropology, & Sociology Faculty Publications. 1.