Predictors of Miscarriages of Justice in Capital Cases

By Talia Roitberg Harmon / Justice Quarterly, on 1 January 2001

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 quantitative comparison between 76 documented cases from 1970 to 1998, in which prisoners were released from death row because of “doubts about their guilt,” and a matched group of inmates who were executed. Through the use of a logistic regression model, significant predictors of cases that result in a release from death row as opposed to an execution, are identified. The final section of this study focuses on policy implications that may decrease the risk of error in capital cases. Additional lines of research are suggested in an effort to increase understanding of miscarriages of justice in such cases.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Innocence,