Date of Submission
Danielle T. Cooper, Ph.D.
Prosecutor, Wrongful Convictions, Criminal Justice System Fairness
Judicial error, Criminal justice, Administration of--United States, Prosecutorial misconduct, Justice, Administration of
Wrongful convictions pose a large threat to the integrity of the United States criminal justice system. While there are many known causes of wrongful convictions, such as eyewitness misidentification, ineffective counsel, and false confessions, the most egregious cause is prosecutorial misconduct. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, prosecutorial misconduct has been found in roughly half of the exonerations listed in the registry. Prosecutors have a tremendous amount of power in the criminal justice system through determining plea deals, obtainment of evidence, disclosure of evidence to the defense, and many more. Studies have been conducted that reveal the occurrence of prosecutorial misconduct, yet very little has been done to correct such misconduct. This study addressed the prevalence of this topic and basic knowledge of United States citizens, specifically legal professionals on prosecutorial misconduct. This study found that perceptions of criminal justice system fairness had the most significance when determining prosecutorial liability, accountability, preventative efforts, regulation and support for overall reform.
Pappas, Amanda N., "No One is Above the Law: Public Perception of Prosecutorial Misconduct's Influence on Wrongful Convictions" (2021). Honors Theses. 14.