Actual Innocence Research
By Allison D. Redlich and Robert J. Norris
We strongly encourage others (particularly students) to be guest editors. If you would like to be a guest editor (or have questions), please email Allison.
We have known about wrongful convictions for a long time. Since the work of Edwin Borchard (1913) a century ago, scholars and journalists have described cases and the factors that contributed to those errors. Until recently, however, little was known about the aftermath of wrongful convictions. What happens to innocent prisoners once they are exonerated? What are the physical, mental, social, and emotional effects on exonerees? How do they reclaim their innocence and refocus their lives to become productive members of society after release? Recent research has begun to answer these questions and others (e.g., Campbell & Denov, 2004; Grounds, 2004; Westervelt & Cook, 2008, 2010, 2012), but there is still much to be done. This month’s column discusses the case of Charles Chatman who, after being wrongly convicted and imprisoned, has dedicated time to being a positive force for change.
Our guest author is Ashley Nicole Miller. Ms. Miller received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Sociology from Baylor University and is currently a graduate student at Marymount University in the Department of Forensic Psychology. Her main research interests concern correctional psychology. Specifically, she is interested in the effects of the application of the practice of counseling psychology to the correctional system.