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Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 259–275 | Cite as

Framing innocents: the wrongly convicted as victims of state harm

  • Saundra D. Westervelt
  • Kimberly J. Cook
Article

Abstract

We adapt the victimology of ‘state harms’ framework outlined by Kauzlarich et al. (Critical Criminology, 10(3), 173–194, 2001) to understand the post-exoneration experiences of 18 death row exonerees. Kauzlarich et al. develop six points of commonality shared by most victims of state crime. Application of this framework to death row exonerees highlights the role the state plays in creating and exacerbating the harms they suffer. This analysis also lays a foundation for further theoretical inquiry into the wrongful conviction of the innocent as a form of state crime.

Keywords

State Official State Crime Tunnel Vision Wrongful Conviction False Confession 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the following for their contributions to the completion of this manuscript: Ray Michalowski, who helped focus our ideas on the primary story we had to tell; Amy Ernstes, who gathered research on state crime; our colleagues at Griffith University and Australian National University in Australia for comments on early versions of the paper; and the anonymous reviewers. This paper was first presented to participants in the “State Crime in the Global Age” conference in Oñati, Spain, May 2008. We thank all conference participants for their contributions. We also are grateful for Michael Radelet’s support and guidance. Mostly, we thank the generosity of our research participants for trusting us with their stories. Funding for this research has been provided by: the External Proposal Development Incentive Program, Office of the Associate Provost of Research, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the American Sociological Association’s Fund for Advancement of the Discipline Award supported by the American Sociological Association and the National Science Foundation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.University of North Carolina at WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA

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