Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Northeastern CrimProf Daniel Givelber has posted Lost Innocence: Speculation and Data About the Acquitted on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
Acquittals are the mystery disposition of the criminal process. The little we know about who is acquitted and why derives from Kalven and Zeisel's work forty years ago supplemented by anecdotes. Our ignorance has been both fostered and excused by the traditional perception that, like the convicted, the acquitted are actually guilty. This perception, while comforting in terms of the status quo, has neither theoretical nor an empirical support. Analysis of data collected in connection with a NCSC study of hung juries indicates that, at a minimum, features of the defendant and his case that are consistent with innocence - testimony by the defendant and at least one other witness, the lack of a prior criminal record, and a refusal to plead on the grounds of innocence - are present to a signficantly greater extent in cases that end in acquittal than they are in cases that result in hung juries or convictions.
To obtain the paper, click here. [Mark Godsey]