Each student will be required to write an in-depth research paper about a cause/issue with respect to wrongful convictions. Part of the assignment includes coming up with a viable topic that is interesting to you, but some examples might include child witness recantations and actual innocence; the impact of innocence commissions or conviction integrity units in the U.S.; the validity/legal admissibility of voice recognition testimony, forensic hypnosis, blood spatter analysis or other dubious forensic “science”; jailhouse lawyers and wrongful convictions; issues regarding police practices and wrongful convictions; how other countries have addressed wrongful convictions, etc. Topics must be approved by the instructor, and the research paper itself is due at the beginning of class on the due date. This is a major assignment; therefore, page length of the paper should reflect the amount of research that you have conducted. (12 to 15 pages is the appropriate range, although papers that include obvious “padding” or repetition will be penalized accordingly). Please submit a brief description of the topic you have chosen for your major research and writing project, along with names and contact information for potential “experts” who you will interview regarding the project. Recall that your topic must pertain to the issue of wrongful convictions, and may not be a recycled paper that you’ve submitted for another class. Your description is due by March 17 at 2:10 p.m.

Categories: LawMLA


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