The Lingering Stigma of a Wrongful Conviction…

Wrongful Convictions Blog

From source:

Wrongful convictions are disturbingly common. In the USA alone, over 1,050 innocent people who were found guilty in court have subsequently been exonerated. A new study, the first to systematically study stigma towards convicted innocents, finds that the old adage is true – mud sticks. Convictions may be overturned, but stigma persists.

Kimberley Clow and Amy-May Leach surveyed 86 psychology students in Canada about either “people who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime”; “people who have been convicted of a crime that they actually committed”; or “people in general”.

The students rated wrongfully convicted people in a similar way to offenders, including perceiving them as incompetent and cold, and having negative attitudes towards them.  Although the students desired less social distance from the wrongly convicted compared with offenders, they preferred to have more distance from them than people in general. And while they expressed more pity for…

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One comment

  1. This article was confusing. The first – “In the USA alone, over 1,050 innocent people who were found guilty in court have subsequently been exonerated.” I kept thinking….over what amount of time? Any one who is innocent and later exonerated is too many, but I would have thought there were more…depending on how much time they are talking about.

    The survey was done in Canada. Yet, the story sounds like it’s American. I do not doubt people who are exonerated of a crime are still stigmatized, but I was just confused about the way the article was written. I’d like to know what was asked and how the questions were answered, instead of having the survey interpreted for me. When it said that the survey showed people would give assistance to general people over wrongfully convicted individuals, that surprised me.

    As I said, I do not doubt what the article was writing about, I just wish it was written better.

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