2nd Ref Ann Bib

Part 1: Bibliographic Entry

Gross, Samuel, Maurice Possley, and Klara Stephens. “RACE AND WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES.” National Registry of Exonerations. 07 Mar. 2017. Web. < http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Documents/Race_and_Wrongful_Convictions.pdf>.


Part 2: Background and Credibility of Author & Source

Samuel Gross is a lawyer that is a law professor at the University of Michigan Law School. He graduated from Columbia College in 1968 and got a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1973. He is known for leading a team of researchers that research information about wrongfully convicted people on death row.

Maurice Possley, was a former investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. He is the senior researcher for the National Registry of Exonerations at the University of Michigan Law School.

Klara Stephens is a senior researcher who has written articles on wrongful convictions and the race discrepancies associated with these convictions.


Part 3: Précis

This fact sheet provides evidence that show that race plays a huge factor in whether or not someone gets convicted for a crime or not. I focused my research in on Part 2 that describes the statistics on the murder patterns amongst white and black people. This article also notes that the race of the victims are just as important as the defendant. Statistics suggest that when the victims are white, the defendant is more likely to be convicted and sentenced to death versus when the victim is black. The exoneration rates were also discussed between white people and black people. The average exoneration for black exonerees was 15 years and 12.5 years for white exonerees. This article goes into a number of different cases where black people, simply based on their race were accused and convicted of committing a crime they didn’t commit.

Part 4: Reflection

I think that this article provides a lot of logos in forms of statistics to use. They give many statistics that show the correlation between black convictions and white convictions. This can definitely support my first source regarding the McMillian case. The part that discusses that when the victim is white, the defendant is more likely to get sentenced to death can be applied to Walter McMillian case. The victim of the shooting was a young white girl. It seemed that the officers in that case were more upset for it being a white victim that died, and they were frustrated that they still couldn’t wrap up the case. Instead, they turned to scapegoating. The part where the research discusses that witness tampering was also a factor can also be applied. The jury and judge relied on faulty testimony to make their decision. I think I might introduce the statistical evidence first to set the groundwork and then discuss the different cases of wrongful imprisonment.

Part 5: Quotables

“Judging from exonerations, innocent black people are about seven times more likely to be convicted of murder than innocent white people.”

“Many studies in at least 15 states have shown that defendants who are charged with killing white victims, regardless of their own race, are more likely to be sentenced to death than those charged with killing black victims.11 Since 1976, 76% of executions in the United States were for murders of white victims. The disparities we see in our data suggest that innocent defendants who are charged with killing white victims are more likely to be sentenced to death, and sometimes no doubt executed, than those charged with killing black victims” (Gross et al. pg. 4).

“On the other hand, witness tampering is committed almost exclusively by police officers. It occurred in 21% of murder exonerations with white defendants but in 39% of those with black defendants, nearly twice as often.” (Gross et al. pg. 6).

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3 thoughts on “2nd Ref Ann Bib

  1. Great overall analysis of your source. Since the article you have analyzed focuses more on statistics and logical reasoning, this could be a way to narrow your idea by specifically describing all the logic and statistics of these cases against people of color. A way to support this would be to find statistics of a case without a person of color and see what ways they are similar and the ways they differ.

  2. Hey Shivani! Since you are bringing in a lot of cases that clearly present there is an issue of criminal injustice in the United States, I think you should bring up the Central Park Five case that occurred in 1989. Five young boys were wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman. It was a huge case that was not overturned until 2002 despite there being no evidence against the boys. In addition, I think you should also add personal anecdotes of people who have personally affected by the systemically racist system, or who know people who have been negatively affected. For example, you can include a statement by George Floyd’s daughter or girlfriend to make your essay more personal. Sometimes statistical data makes us desensitized to an issue, but by including anecdotes, you can really appeal to the emotions of a reader.

  3. Hey Shivani! I think this is a great source for your researched argument. Since I presume your argument is about racism playing a part in our justice system, definitely look for more cases that showcase this. Like Igballe said, the Central Park Five is a great example of this. I think you could also use the most recent cases of murders in terms of police brutality towards black people as another example. Most of the officers that were involved in these killings, who were mostly white, weren’t convicted for any of their actions.

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