Current Research Projects

The Politics of Innocence (with Kevin Mullinix and William Hicks)

In this book project, we explore the development of state policies designed to mitigate, discover, and remedy wrongful convictions across the U.S., as well as the effects of wrongful convictions on public opinion toward the justice system. The book-in-progress is currently under contract with NYU Press.

Race and Perceptions of Police (with Kevin Mullinix)

We have published articles on how information about racial disparities in traffic stops influences people’s trust in police and how citizens respond to stories (through text and videos) of police use-of-force. We are currently piloting a study to examine how the language around police reforms – specifically, who is advocating for such reforms – influences the public’s support for them.

Measuring Innocence (with Marvin Zalman)

This project collects and evaluates existing estimates of a wrongful conviction rate in the United States. We do not provide our own estimate, but rather explore the historical context of the “rate question” and discuss its importance for the innocence movement.

Behavioral Ethics, Forensic Misconduct, and Wrongful Convictions (with Catherine Bonventre and Clay Drummond)

This study adapts the “behavioral ethics” framework to examine organizational misconduct in the criminal legal system. Specifically, we analyze cases of forensic misconduct and malpractice that led to wrongful convictions. 

The Aftermath of Wrongful Convictions and Exoneree Compensation (with Andrew Madrigal)

This study collects and analyzes state compensation laws for individuals who have been wrongly convicted and exonerated. We discuss not only what is good and bad in existing laws, but argue that many existing statutes create additional uncertainty for exonerees during a time of already-extreme uncertainty.

Wrongful Conviction Organization Intake and Perceptions of Actual Innocence (with Samantha Luna)

Using an online survey-experiment, we evaluate what factors influence perceptions of actual innocence, and affect whether an innocence project volunteer would likely recommend a case for further investigation.