Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Wrongful Convictions Seminar

778A | 2.0 credits


Recent developments in DNA testing have confirmed the long-standing fear that individuals can be convicted of crimes they did not commit. There are currently nearly 200 DNA exonerations in the United States, which typically involved serious violent felonies, some of which were capital crimes. A number of exonerations have also occurred in cases not involving scientific evidence. Wrongful conviction of the innocent not only destroys the lives of those convicted and their families; it allows the actual perpetrator of the crime to go unpunished and to be free to potentially convictions, ways to lessen their defense counsel, accomplice testimony, false confessions, eyewitness testimony, as well as systematic issues. Students are graded on the basis of a researched seminar paper of 30-40 pages. In addition, each student will be responsible for helping to facilitate all or part of a class session concerning the general topic of the student's paper, including selection of the relevant reading material.


Evidence and Constitutional Criminal Procedure (may be taken concurrently)