What Can DNA Exonerations Tell Us about Racial Differences in Wrongful-Conviction Rates?

@article{Bjerk2020WhatCD,
  title={What Can DNA Exonerations Tell Us about Racial Differences in Wrongful-Conviction Rates?},
  author={David Bjerk and Eric A. Helland},
  journal={The Journal of Law and Economics},
  year={2020},
  volume={63},
  pages={341 - 366}
}
We show that data on DNA exonerations can be informative about racial differences in wrongful-conviction rates under some assumptions regarding the DNA-exoneration process. We argue that, with respect to rape cases, the observed data and the plausibility of the required assumptions combine to strongly suggest that the wrongful-conviction rate is significantly higher among black convicts than white convicts. By contrast, we argue that the ability of data on DNA exonerations to reveal information… 

Type I and Type II Error Probabilities in the Courtroom

Abstract We estimate the likelihood of miscarriages of justice by reframing the problem in the context of misclassified binary choice models. The estimator is based on new nonparametric

Favoritism towards High-Status Clubs: Evidence from German Soccer

Biases in legal decision-making are difficult to identify as type II errors (wrongful acquittals) are hardly observable and type I errors (wrongful convictions) are only observed for the subsample

Unequal Treatment Under the Law? Consequences of Body-worn Cameras on the Court System

In less than a decade, body-worn cameras rose from rarity to standard amongst local law enforcement in the U.S. as agencies sought to enhance trust, transparency, and accountability of officers.

Pain, Suffering and Jury Awards: A Study of the Cost of Wrongful Convictions

This paper estimates society’s valuation of avoiding wrongful convictions and the time spent in prison based on cross sectional regression analysis of awards and settlements for individuals who were

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 70 REFERENCES

Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States

African Americans are only 13% of the American population but a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations

Racial Disparity in Federal Criminal Sentences

Using rich data linking federal cases from arrest through to sentencing, we find that initial case and defendant characteristics, including arrest offense and criminal history, can explain most of

Convicted but Innocent: Wrongful Conviction and Public Policy

Foreword - Simon Dinitz Introduction With Apologies to the Prisoner Causes Celebres How Could This Have Happened? The Causes and Prevalence of Wrongful Conviction What Did They Really See? The

Predictors of miscarriages of justice in capital cases

Prior research on wrongful convictions in capital cases focused primarily on qualitative methods designed to provide in-depth descriptive analyses of these cases. In contrast, this study is a

RACIAL AND ETHNIC DISPARITIES IN SENTENCING DEPARTURES ACROSS MODES OF CONVICTION

Recent analyses of guideline sentencing practices have demonstrated that sentences departing from guidelines serve as a significant locus of racial/ethnic and other extralegal disparity. Little is

A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department

This paper provides new evidence on racial profiling using information on the race of both motorists and officers. Extending the model of Knowles, Persico, and Todd (2001), we develop a new test for

Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race?

Are minorities treated differently by the legal system? Systematic racial differences in case characteristics, many unobservable, make this a difficult question to answer directly. In this paper, we

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CONFESSION EVIDENCE

Basic questions are raised concerning police interrogations, the risk of false confessions, and the impact that such evidence has on a jury. On the basis of available research, it was concluded that

Race for Your Life: An Analysis of the Role of Race in Erroneous Capital Convictions

Prior research on the role of race in wrongful capital convictions has focused primarily on the race of the defendant. In contrast, this article begins with two case studies that illustrate the

The Consequences of False Confessions: Deprivations of Liberty and Miscarriages of Justice in the Age of Psychological Interrogation

This article studies the precise impact that false confessions have on criminal defendants. Using evidence from sixty cases of police-induced false confessions in which the defendant's confession is
...