Guilty Until Proved Innocent: Wrongful Conviction and Public Policy

C. Ronald Huff, Arye Rattner, Edward Sagarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few problems can pose a greater threat to free, democratic societies than that of wrongful conviction—the conviction of an innocent person. Yet relatively little attention has been paid to this problem, perhaps because of our understandable concern with the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system in combatting crime. Drawing on our own database of nearly 500 cases of wrongful conviction, our survey of criminal justice officials, and our review of extant literature on the subject, we address three major questions: (1) How frequent is wrongful conviction? (2) What are its major causes? and (3) What policy implications may be derived from this study?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-544
Number of pages27
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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