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In Chapter 1 we examined the discrimination-disparity continuum. This continuum illustrates the types of disparities that do exist in the Criminal Justice system.
With these types of discrimination in mind, I would like you to apply this continuum to an individual listed in the Innocence project. Please explore the website: WWW.INNOCENCEPROJECT.ORG. Select one individual who was exonerated by DNA evidence that you would like to research.
Your paper should relate to how the criminal justice system failed this individual. NOTE: I want you to base your argument on the discrimination-disparity continuum. Do you believe the individual was convicted based on systematic discrimination or was in contextual in nature? You need to argue your case and try to explain what went wrong. In arguing your case, you need to explain the details of the person you chose- you may want to look at where in the CJ system failed the individual (ex: bad police practice, bias, jury selection, eye witness ID, etc.)
Explain if you feel the failure in the CJ system is systematic, institutionalized, contextual, an individual act of discrimination or that there was no racial or ethic discrimination, also known as pure justice. Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself are: Have reforms been enacted as a result of this injustice? How has this injustice impacted the CJ system? What could have been done to better ensure that an innocent person would not be wrongfully accused:
The following is a guideline for this paper:
Conclusion ( can include implications for future reform)
*** I suggest you look at the website and choice one particular person whose case interests you. Once you choose an individual, please decide what type of disparity-discrimination they suffered and use that to argue your point. Use certain facts of the case to help support your argument. ***
**** In addition to the Innocence Project website, I urge you to use sources other than the Innocence Project website, to expand on the individual’s information. It is with this added information that you may find information on race of victim/offender, use of public defenders, etc. ***If you do use any other sources, please give proper credit by using the APA manual style for citations. Your paper must include a reference page. ***
Some of the points that you can incorporate into your paper;
how much time in jail or awaiting trial?
age at time of conviction?
race of defendant, race of victim?
how long spent in prison?
were they serving on death row?
what was the crime they were convicted for?
how many times were they denied parole?
how were they convicted? ex: eyewitness ID, etc
what was the race of the victim and do you believe it played a role?
were there witnesses to the crime?
was forensic science used?
was there a confession, admission or a guilty plea?
is there any type of disability/ mental illness involved?
was the defendant indigent- was their lawyer private or public?
was there a use of informants?
after release- was there some type of compensatory award?
did the accused receive a monetary award and was it appropriate for time spent in prison?
was the true perpetrator of the crime ever identified?