exoneration project

Exoneration Project

Criminal Justice II

Select a case from the National Registry of Exonerations. You will show an accurate understanding of themes discussed this semester by completing a case study. 



  1. Defendant Details

  1. Name, location, age at time of crime, race, and sex of the defendant


2. Case Timeline

      a. List important dates and events from the date of the alleged crime to exoneration


3. Outline the Steps in the trial

      a.   Who was involved (prosecutor, defendant, judge, jury, witnesses?)

  1. Who testified on either side and what did they claim/state?

  2. What evidence was presented?

I. Do you think this was an accurate representation of the case? Why or why not?

  1. What was the verdict? 

I. Do you feel this was fair given the circumstances/evidence available at the time? Explain your reasoning

4. Which principle of sentencing does the persons sentence best represent and why? (Retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation)

  1. Describe the principle of sentencing that you think would have been best served in this case and why? If it is the same as what the case followed, explain what you think would have been the worst option and why.

5. What form of punishment was issued? (capital, imprisonment, probation, fines, restitution, community service or restorative justice?)

  1. Describe the form of punishment that you think would have been best served in this case and why? If it is the same as what the case followed, explain what you think would have been the worst option and why.

6. What are the sentencing guidelines for the location of the trial? (do they use determinate, indeterminate, good time, or in-truth sentencing?)

  1. Describe the parameters that guide judges, juries, and prosecutors when sentencing defendants. 

  2. Were there any mitigating or aggravated factors that contributed to sentencing decisions?

7. In what ways, if any, were the policies of mandatory minimums, habitual offender, or three strikes laws connected to the case?

  1. Was there any evidence of sentencing disparity or discrimination. Explain why or why not. 

8. Do you feel this trial violates any constitutional rights

  1. Explain the ways in which it did or did not violate the 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments.

9. Describe the points at which you feel the criminal justice system failed the defendant. 

  1. What policies, practices, or changes could be implemented to prevent future false convictions.  

*Powerpoint or written report*

*Powerpoints should include graphics

*Exoneration cases should be in the last 25 years

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