Wrongfully Convicted Assignment

You are going to select someone from the Innocence Canada website, and do some research on how and why this person was wrongfully convicted. What went wrong? https://www.innocencecanada.com/

This assignment will be a written paper. You will submit your paper via Brightspace. Each of you will complete this assignment individually. Please make sure you review the grading rubric so that you are clear on how you are earning your grade (it’s available in Brightspace)!

This paper should be formatted with an introduction, main body, and conclusion. Your final summary conclusion should highlight for me, of the seven human factors that may contribute to wrongful convictions, which ones contributed to this person’s wrongful conviction.

This assignment should be a minimum of four pages (1.15 -spaced). It should include a cover page and reference page (these items are not part of the 4-page minimum). You do not want to plagiarize your work! https://algonquincollege.libguides.com/research/plagiarism

Your paper should be organized in the following format:


Biographical Details

The Crime

The Trial



Here are some things to consider for your paper:

  1. What are the biographical details of the wrongfully convicted? Who is/was this person?  How old were they at the time of the crime?  Who were their friends at the time (did this have any influence on the outcome of this case)?  What is/was their family situation?  Is there some reason they were the prime/only suspect in this case?  Any other interesting details you can find out.
  • Details about the crime this person allegedly committed.  Who was involved?  What happened?  When did it happen?  How were the wrongfully convicted and the victim related?  When did the wrongfully convicted become a suspect?  Why do you think the wrongfully convicted became a suspect?      
  • Details about the trial of this person.  When did the trial take place?  Where did it occur?  Was there any reason for the choice of location of the trial?  Was it a trial by jury?  What evidence was used in the trial?  Any other interesting details you can find out about the trial.
  • How/when did a retrial/exoneration occur?  What was the process that occurred before a retrial/exoneration happened?  When was this retrial?  What evidence was used in it?  Was it a trial by jury?  What compensation was awarded? Any other interesting details you learn while conducting your research?

These questions are meant to help guide your work. You should write this paper/prepare your presentation as though I have never heard of the person/story you are writing about. You want to give me the fullest picture you can of this wrongfully convicted person.

Some factors to consider when preparing your paper/presentation:

Are any of these factors relevant to your case?

  • Witness error
  • Target practices of the police
  • Suppression/falsification of evidence
  • Faulty forensic evidence
  • Judicial malpractice   – Prosecution and/or defence misconduct
  • Intimidation of witnesses
  • Judicial error or misapplication of the law
  • Media bias or prejudice in reporting
  • Financial status of the accused
  • Confessions obtained in the absence of a lawyer
  • The role of plea-bargaining
  • Community pressure for a conviction
  • Age of the victim
  • Previous police involvement/ criminal record
Criteria  Level 4 5 points  Level 3 4 points  Level 2 3 points  Level 1 2 points  Criterion Score  
Writing Skills Overall organization, spelling, grammar, sentence structure, referencing, etc.Excellent! Your writing skills are very good! Very good! Your writing skills are good. Not bad but you need some work on your writing skills. Uh-oh…this isn’t quite up to college level standard.               /5
  Biographical Details  Excellent! You have lots of great details!   Very good! You have some great details but a few are missing.Not bad but you are missing some important details. Uh-oh…this is missing many details!                /5
  Details of the Crime  Excellent! You have lots of great details!   Very good! You have some great details but a few are missing.   Not bad but you are missing some important details.   Uh-oh…this is missing many details!                /5
  Details of the Trial  Excellent! You have lots of great details!   Very good! You have some great details but a few are missing.   Not bad but you are missing some important details.   Uh-oh…this is missing many details!              /5
  Final Outcome of the Case (retrial/exoneration)  Excellent! You have lots of great details!   Very good! You have some great details but a few are missing.   Not bad but you are missing some important details.   Uh-oh…this is missing many details!                /5
  Overall Conclusions Drawn  Excellent! You have lots of great details!   Very good! You have some great details but a few are missing.   Not bad but you are missing some important details.   Uh-oh…this is missing many details!                 /5
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