Haven't they suffered enough? Time to exoneration following wrongful conviction of racially marginalized minority- vs. majority-group members

Eran Itskovich*, Roni Factor, Daniel Ohana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Studies on the criminal justice process up to the point of conviction show that defendants who belong to racially marginalized groups suffer a greater risk of being wrongfully convicted. However, little attention has been paid to the period after conviction. Applying multilevel analysis to data from the National Registry of Exonerations in the United States, we compare the length of the exoneration process for members of racially marginalized minority groups who are shown to have been wrongfully convicted compared with their counterparts from the white majority group. Our results indicate that exonerees from racially marginalized groups serve more time out of their sentence compared to those who are white. Further analysis shows that these differences exist only with respect to exonerees in Republican-controlled states. These findings suggest that not only are racially marginalized minorities wrongfully convicted at higher rates, as found in previous studies, but also that they suffer longer periods of unjustified punishment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1233-1253
Number of pages21
JournalPunishment and Society
Volume25
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • exoneration process
  • political affiliation
  • racial bias
  • wrongful convictions

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