Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Innocence Commissions

  • Kent Roach
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_161



Increased attention paid to wrongful convictions over the last quarter of the century has led to the formation by the state of permanent commissions that have powers to refer convictions back to the courts after ordinary appeals have been exhausted. The best known of these commissions is the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) of England and Wales. It was created by statute in 1995 and has been operating since 1997. Before its creation, it was necessary to convince an elected official and a member of the executive to refer a conviction back to the courts once appeals had been exhausted. Indeed, such petitions to the executive remain the norm in Europe and North America.

Commissions with powers to refer convictions back to the courts after appeals have been exhausted are sometimes called innocence commissions (Roach 2010a, b) because of their concern about the wrongful conviction of innocent people. At the same time, the criteria...

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Recommended Reading and References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada