Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Amanda K. Cox
Wrongful conviction can be defined as an instance in which a person is tried and convicted for a crime he or she did not commit. Although wrongful convictions may not be commonplace in the United States, such convictions nevertheless do occur, and those who are wrongfully convicted, as well as their families, experience a variety of negative consequences. In the most extreme case, wrongful conviction of a capital offense can lead to wrongful execution of the death sentence. When someone is wrongfully convicted of a crime, the actual offender is likely to remain free and commit further crimes. In this way the occurrence of a wrongful conviction has the potential to affect every person living in the United States, whether he or she is the wrongfully convicted, a relative of the wrongfully convicted, or simply an individual who is victimized by a criminal who remained free due to the conviction ...