Elephants in the Courtroom:
Examining Overlooked Issues in Wrongful Convictions

Organizer Biographies

 

Allison D. Redlich, a Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at George Mason University, has a PhD in developmental psychology and is well known for her research on false confessions (e.g., Kassin et al., 2010; Redlich & Goodman, 2003), and more recently, on false guilty pleas (Norris & Redlich, 2014; Redlich & Ozdogru, 2009; Redlich, 2010; Redlich, Summers, & Hoover, 2010). She has received funding from several granting agencies to study these and other related topics. For example, Redlich is a co-PI on the NSF-funded RCN on understanding guilty pleas. Professor Redlich is commonly asked to provide expert testimony in the courtroom to educate judges and jurors on the topic of false confessions, as well as to address groups of practitioners (e.g., law enforcement, defense and prosecuting attorneys).

James R. Acker, a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the UAlbany School of Criminal Justice, has a JD as well as a PhD in criminal justice. His scholarship embraces the death penalty (e.g., Acker, 2014; Acker, Bohm & Lanier, forthcoming), including its ties to wrongful convictions, (Acker & Bellandi, 2014, 2012; Acker, 2009), and includes a book about the Scottsboro Boys (Acker, 2008). He also has studied crimes that occur when the guilty go free and the wrong person is convicted (Acker, 2013). In addition, he and Redlich co-authored the first casebook on wrongful convictions (Acker & Redlich, 2011).

Catherine L. Bonventre, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice and Policy Studies at Guilford College, holds a J.D., an M.S. in forensic biology, and a Ph.D. in criminal justice (fall 2015). Her research combines the disciplines of law, social science, and forensic science, with a focus on wrongful convictions, crime laboratories and forensic science, and judicial decision-making and policy implementation. She has co-authored a Justice Quarterly article on theoretical frameworks in miscarriages of justice (Norris & Bonventre, 2013) and a book chapter on advancing methods in the study of wrongful convictions (Bonventre, Norris, & West, 2014). Bonventre serves on the Board of Editors of the annual Miscarriages of Justice issue of the Albany Law Review.

Robert J. Norris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and Justice Studies at Appalachian State University. He earned his B.A. in Sociology from UNC-Greensboro and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the School of Criminal Justice at the University at Albany. He has authored and co-authored several scholarly articles and book chapters about wrongful convictions, including theoretical (Norris & Bonventre, 2013) and methodological (Bonventre, Norris, & West, 2014) issues, state policy responses (Norris, 2012, 2014; Norris, Bonventre, Redlich, & Acker, 2010/2011), and false confessions and guilty pleas (Norris & Redlich, 2012, 2014). He is currently developing a book manuscript on the history of the innocence movement in the United States.