Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The "New Civil Rights": The Innocence Movement and American Criminal Justice
by Norris, Robert J., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2015, 333; 3703491
Abstract (Summary)

Few issues have captivated the criminal justice world in recent years like wrongful convictions. An advocacy network has developed around the United States, responsible for exonerating more than 1,500 individuals and successfully passing reforms at all levels of criminal justice policy and practice. This "innocence movement" has been described as a "revolution" and a "new civil rights movement," yet has rarely been examined in-depth by scholars. In this dissertation, I explore the history and theoretical underpinnings of the movement through interviews with 37 actors involved in innocence work, archival materials, and observational research. I draw on the rich body of theoretical literature from socio-legal scholarship and the study of social movements to explore this historical development, discuss how and why it occurred, critically evaluate its status as a social movement, and offer thoughts on the future of the innocence movement in the United States.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Acker, James R., Worden, Alissa
Commitee: Bailey, Frankie Y., Leo, Richard A., Redlich, Allison D.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Criminal Justice
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Law, Criminology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Cause lawyer, Civil rights, Innocence movement, Miscarriage of justice, Social movement, Wrongful conviction
Publication Number: 3703491
ISBN: 978-1-321-75366-0
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