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Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Bradley W. Smith


Perhaps no problem challenges the legitimacy of the criminal justice system more than the conviction of factually innocent individuals. Numerous highly-publicized exonerations that occurred since the mid-1990s have raised the visibility of wrongful conviction, generating the attention of scholars. Much of the research focuses on the causes and incidence of the phenomenon. However, despite the growing body of research, there has been no examination of how citizens view this issue. Using data from a statewide survey of Michigan residents, this study aims to fill that gap in the wrongful conviction literature by reporting on citizens' attitudes regarding wrongful convictions. Our findings suggest that citizens do indeed recognize the significance of wrongful convictions and generally believe that it is reason for justice system reform.

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