Active learning in criminal justice

The benefits of student investigation of wrongful convictions in a higher education setting

in Learning and Teaching
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  • 1 University of Winchester, UK jill.dealey@winchester.ac.uk

Abstract

Active learning, with students engaging in research or activities within the community, is a favoured approach in contemporary higher education. To support this approach, the Criminology and Forensic Studies programmes at the University of Winchester have included student research into miscarriages of justice. The students interrogate evidence from a criminal trial to attempt to establish if there has been a wrongful conviction. This article discusses the importance of this work for students of Criminology. It considers the contribution to the learning experience of the range of opportunities available to undergraduate and postgraduate students and evaluates the potential impact on curriculum and learning development during the degree programme, in addition to the benefits for future employment.

Advocates of active learning in higher education applaud the use of approaches that encourage student involvement in research and inquiry and state that it is the most effective means of enabling a move away from more traditional (and now less well-favoured) teacher-led methods of learning and encouraging independent development in students. As Mick Healey and Alan Jenkins (2009) have observed: ‘all undergraduate students in all higher education institutions should experience learning through, and about, research and inquiry … such curricular experience should and can be mainstreamed … through a research-active curriculum’ (2009: 3).

An area of work that can provide valuable research and inquiry opportunities for students of criminal justice is the exploration of alleged miscarriage of justice. Student involvement in researching current cases of alleged wrongful convictions is growing in popularity in higher education in the United States (Henry 2014) and the United Kingdom (Naughton 2014). This article will discuss work on wrongful convictions at one specific institution in the UK, the University of Winchester. It will begin with a broader discussion of the importance of work on wrongful conviction for criminal justice curricula in higher education. It will then discuss applied research in allegations of wrongful conviction being undertaken by the Crime and Justice Research Centre (CJRC) at The University of Winchester. The CJRC was developed as a multidisciplinary venture. It was established in 2013 by lecturers from the disciplines of criminology and journalism with the aim of conducting applied research on a variety of aspects of crime. An initial focus of the centre's research has been the exploration of miscarriages of justice. Lastly, the author conducted research with a small number of students at the University of Winchester who participated in work on a real-life case of an individual alleging wrongful conviction; their comments will be explored as they provide insight into the value of this work to criminal justice education.

The importance of studying wrongful conviction

There are significant issues of higher education pedagogy of relevance to the study of wrongful convictions in higher education. Many students studying degree programmes in criminology wish to pursue careers in the criminal justice system. Undertaking student-led research can be an important tool in helping them to develop professional skills that will give them an advantage in the jobs market. As Brew has noted:

For the students who are the professionals of the future, developing the ability to investigate problems, make judgments based on sound evidence, take decisions on a rational basis, and understand what they are doing and why is vital. Research and inquiry are not just for those who choose to pursue an academic career. It is central to professional life in the twenty-first century (Brew 2007: 7).

Currently, there is limited research on this issue in the context of provision of courses for criminology in the United Kingdom; but in discussing the content of degree programmes in the United States, Timothy Flanagan (2006) has observed that an effective programme of criminal justice education should equip students with knowledge about processes of social control in society; moral and ethical underpinnings of the law; the legal foundations of the criminal justice system and the functions of its agencies; and processes of change at individual, organisational, institutional, and community levels. To carry out this work, students must think critically, be able to analyse empirical data, and identify areas that require improvement.

As Ronald Barnett and Kelly Coate (2005) have observed, there are substantial demands on contemporary higher education to not only enable students to learn, but also to equip them with a skill set that will make them attractive to the workplace after graduation. This has placed demands on the curriculum to enable students to acquire the knowledge that they require to successfully complete their studies, but also to prepare them to become effective members of society. Barnett and Coate argue that to do this, it is necessary for the curriculum (and those who teach it) to focus upon the three linked elements of knowing, acting, and being (2005).

Knowing relates to the provision of teaching and learning and ensuring that what is included in the curriculum promotes the development of the students’ knowledge base. Doing corresponds to the student taking an active role in their learning, for example, leading discussions in class and conducting their own research. The concept of being refers to the development of the student's self-confidence. In terms of higher education, developing a sense of being requires every student to fully engage with their learning, and be an active member of their academic community, taking responsibility for their studies and themselves so that they are capable employees once their education ends. As Barnett and Coate have observed, in order to compete in the twenty-first century, ‘Individuals have to become selves, strong, careful, open, resilient and critical selves’ (Barnett and Coate 2005: 48). The responsibility of the university is to provide adequate resources to enable this development. The opportunity for students to investigate a case of alleged miscarriage of justice can be seen to fit with all three elements, in that it provides an empirical example to illustrate themes within criminology, provides an example of the work of agencies within the criminal justice system and encourages the students’ development as independent researchers.

Furthermore, Lee Schulman's study of signature pedagogies for the professions (2005) discusses the importance of learning that will enable students to practice in a profession, such as law. Whilst criminology programmes are not directly vocational, it is to be expected that many students taking these courses will wish to work in some capacity in the criminal justice system. Schulman argues that students on vocationally directed programmes need to be taught on three levels; surface structure, with its notions on teaching and learning; deep structure, with choices on what to include in the syllabus; and an implicit structure, which imparts ‘a moral dimension that comprises a set of beliefs about professional attitudes, values and dispositions’ (Schulman 2005: 55). It can be argued that work on real-life cases of miscarriage of justice is a method of working at this implicit level.

In his more recent publications, continuing to be concerned with students’ wider development, Ronald Barnett has focused on the concept of learning ecology (2019) in which he examines the role of the university in wider society as part of a the established notion of that society, but also in relation to expanding the boundaries of students’ sense of being. ‘Ecology’ is a means to link students and their thinking, doing and being to their learning environment; and ‘environments can be both the physical, external to the self, but also creative environments within the individual mind’ (Jackson and Barnett 2020).

It follows that the learning environment should be one that values experiential learning and seeks to develop students’ ability to interact with each other and with society beyond the confines of the university environment. This, Norman Jackson and Ronald Barnett argue, will lead to a broader curriculum and the expansion of students’ sense of being (2020). Implicit in this is the need for universities to be creative in developing the content of curricula; and for students to also strive for creativity in their approach to learning (Barnett 2019). The provision of learning on wrongful convictions at Winchester can be seen as an example of institutional creative thinking in the way the materials have been used within the criminology curriculum, and the development of additional initiatives such as placements and fellowships discussed later in this article.

Initiatives pertinent to the concept of being can also be found in literature on student engagement with partnerships to meet the demand for what in the United States is termed service learning and is more usually described as citizenship learning in the United Kingdom (Jerome 2012). Such learning seeks to link students with the local community in order for students to expand their learning beyond the classroom in a way that will also potentially benefit the voluntary sector. As Alison Walker (2020) observes, such arrangements can be enriching to all parties, but they do require good preparation and organisation, and a commitment to partnership working from the university. It can be argued that this is now additionally a requirement reinforced by the demands of knowledge exchange, in which universities are encouraged to develop projects with local voluntary organisations and services. As service learning typically involves voluntary working, it also requires a high level of motivation from the learners (Walker 2020). Such projects can provide active support, engage students in research or develop their advocacy skills (Jerome 2012).

The work on miscarriages of justice within a module of the criminology curriculum additionally resonates with the pedagogic theory of Constructive Alignment (Biggs and Tang 2011). In the theory, Biggs observed that the most effective teaching will be based on learning outcomes, teaching and learning, and assessment all fitting effectively together. For example, if teachers set an objective in which students are asked to critically analyse the performance of the criminal justice system in relation to miscarriages of justice, this will require a learning outcome to this effect and teaching that offers critical analysis, rather than, for example, simply describing agencies and the roles of their staff, such as the police, forensic experts, legal professionals and judges, and the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). In order to critically analyse the effectiveness of these agencies, students will need to develop a deeper understanding of the reasons for their modes of operation and have access to material that critiques each agency. In addition, developing an understanding of processes and procedures through an analysis of materials such as court transcripts, forensic reports and witness statements will be an important way of gaining this awareness. The assessment will also need to explicitly refer to critical analysis to draw out this approach from students. Therefore, in the module concerned, students complete two assignments; firstly, they write an essay with a choice of questions on topics such as evaluating the effectiveness of the CCRC, considering key issues that have resulted in allegations of miscarriage of justice and discussing the main factors in the overturn of convictions in well-known cases of miscarriage, such as the Birmingham Six,1 Sally Clark,2 and the Guildford Four.3 (Poyser 2018b). This assignment assesses the students’ knowledge of the topic and empirical examples demonstrate their understanding of the causes of miscarriage of justice. For their second assignment at the end of the module, students compile a case study in which they discuss problematic issues in a case, linking these to theoretical discussion.

In a revalidation of the criminology programme at the university, the revalidation team spoke with three current students. One had not been able to work on a current case of miscarriage of justice in a particular year for reasons beyond staff control. She argued that this had turned her potential highlight of the degree into her least favourite module, as it was taught in a wholly theoretical manner. The revalidation team were interested in the recent appointment of a dedicated staff member (me) to lead research and investigation and ensure that students have a current case of alleged wrongful conviction and are fully supported to work on it under supervision. In the final session of the day, the revalidation team commended this work on real-life cases and recommended its long-term continuation. From the perspective of constructive alignment, the availability of a live case is vital to the teaching and learning on this module. Without it, the learning outcomes and assessment must be altered, and the effectiveness of the learning will lessen for those who like to learn in a hands-on manner.

The Winchester Justice Project

One initial focus of the Crime and Justice Research Centre (CJRC) was to work on live cases of alleged wrongful conviction, through the investigation of the cases of current prisoners convicted of serious crimes who have consistently maintained their innocence. These prisoners will have been given an opportunity to appeal following their conviction, but the appeal will have been unsuccessful; hence the work of students is often viewed as a last hope, but is also of crucial importance, should the conviction be deemed unsafe following their review. This work is completed as The Winchester Justice Project, to mark it as a distinct endeavour from other research activities carried out by staff.

Students actively interrogate the evidence presented in the original criminal trial (such as witness statements, specialist reports and forensic evidence) with the aim of identifying new facts or gaps in evidence. Doing so will enable a fresh appeal via the Criminal Cases Review Commission (Naughton 2009). This work with students at the University of Winchester is unusual. Although there are other universities (including the Miscarriage of Justice Review Centre run jointly by the universities of Manchester and Sheffield and the Investigating Miscarriages of Justice module at the University of Essex) undertaking casework in conjunction with bodies such as the Innocence Project, this work tends to be restricted to Law students. In contrast, the University of Winchester offers the opportunity to Criminology and Forensic Studies students. This provides them with the dual advantage of first, developing applied research skills, and second, gaining valuable insight into policies and procedures of criminal justice agencies enhances the employment prospects of students seeking to work in the criminal justice system after graduating.

The structure and content of the module

Until the academic year 2018–19, the module ‘Criminological Investigation: Miscarriage of Justice’ was a mandatory module for second year students in Criminology and Forensic Studies. In the academic year 2019–20, it moved to a Year 3 optional module for Criminology. The rationale behind this change is that the students will have completed the learning on research skills development, which takes place in Year 2 and arguably enhances the study of wrongful conviction in Year 3. There is now a separate optional module for Forensic Studies for Year 2 students. The current format of the Criminology integrates a one-hour lecture with two hour-long seminars in which students engage in practical case work, examining evidence used in the original criminal trial.

The lectures in the module commence with an overview of historic miscarriages of justice such as the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four. These cases uncovered issues of malpractice within the police, which led to the development of PACE, the 1991–93 review by the Runciman Commission of the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system and the creation of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), an agency dedicated to looking into allegations of wrongful conviction. The focus then shifts to a discussion of potential problems (which may also be found in the investigation of the case) such as errors of identification in eyewitness testimony, issues in forensic evidence and the difficulties inherent in hearsay evidence. The discussion is illustrated by academic sources and legal cases from the past.

An important focus of the module is zemiology, the study of harms caused by a wrongful conviction (Naughton 2012, 2014; Poyser 2018a, 2018b). A frequent comment on student feedback is that casework enables them to see some of these harms in an empirical example, which humanises the theoretical learning for them. Harms can be financial, physical, psychological and social (Naughton 2012). Conviction after a trial can be a means of closure for victims and their families, an opportunity to move forward from a traumatic event. Yet if the wrong person has been convicted, the sense of closure is undermined; and potentially, physical and psychological risks to the victim will remain unaddressed if the real perpetrator is not convicted. There is also a continuing risk to the public if a perpetrator remains at large and able to reoffend (Nurse 2018).

Concurrently, the practical seminars will be examining materials from the current case. Students will be asked to engage in close reading and to discuss any potential concerns. The empirical work on the case brings the issues to life, enabling the students to gain insights into the reality of a prisoner's situation.

Working with real life cases: Creating opportunities for student learning

The University of Winchester formerly participated in the Innocence Network (UK),4 part of an international initiative that aimed to overturn wrongful convictions and provided pro bono work experience for university law students. However, the Network closed in 2015 and since 2016, the University of Winchester has been working in partnership with Inside Justice,5 a charity specialising in this field. The founder of Inside Justice is Louise Shorter, a former researcher on the programme Rough Justice. During the 1980s, Rough Justice was a popular programme that highlighted alleged cases of wrongful conviction. This was a popular topic at the time, with discussions of alleged wrongful conviction frequently appearing in the media and a number of high-profile failures being referred to the Court of Appeal.

However, following the creation of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) in 1997, the issue received less media attention and public interest in alleged miscarriages of justice also appeared to dwindle. This does not mean that the problem had been resolved, however. There has been significant recent academic research by legal academic Michael Naughton (2012, 2014). The journalistic interest and investigation by Brian Thornton and Jon Robins, co-founders of the online magazine The Justice Gap6 (which attracts a wider public audience than the rather limited field of legal and academic professionals) indicates that despite the existence of the CCRC, there are many outstanding cases of alleged wrongful convictions. Moreover, the CCRC was under-resourced, had few staff, and as a result, it reviewed only a small number of the cases it received (Naughton 2012, 2014). Given this situation, in 2004 Naughton developed the Innocence Project, where (initially) law students would work on real cases of individuals claiming to be victims of wrongful conviction. Louise Shorter formed Inside Justice, an offshoot of the well-established prison newspaper Inside Time. Working on self-referred cases and investigating convictions with colleagues including police forensic analysts, barristers and case workers, Inside Justice also now works with a small number of universities including Winchester.

How does the Winchester Justice Project support students to work on cases?

The students are actively involved in reviewing case files, evidence and court transcripts to seek out gaps in the case that may prove a person's innocence of the offence of which they have been convicted. This is an effective example of empirical learning and professional skills development and is a powerful addition to a student's CV. There is considerable scope to engage students beyond the module and develop skills to enhance their future employment prospects by providing additional volunteering and a limited amount of paid placement opportunities. First, there have been opportunities for students to take a role in the undergraduate module as demonstrators and mentors. This benefits the peer mentors in an experiential sense, and also enables the learners to benefit from the mentors’ experience.

In the academic year 2016–17, six Year 2 students took part in additional work on the case as part of a scheme called the Winchester Research Apprenticeships Programme (WRAP). This programme enables students to engage in research activity alongside a member of academic staff, providing valuable personal and professional development in the form of one week's work, for which a bursary payment is made. Following a successful application for an internal learning and teaching funding award, the six students (then in Year 3) acted as teaching assistants for the module, mentoring Year 2 students as part of a peer-assisted learning project the involvement in live case work has facilitated.

In 2017–18, eleven students were engaged in WRAP placements, indicating a substantial interest in this area of work. Two of these are now undertaking Student Fellowships. This is a further initiative by the University of Winchester, which enables students to work in partnership with academic staff on projects that will benefit future students through the evaluation of an aspect of academic programmes (Lowe and Sims 2020). In this instance, the two students assisted with teaching and mentoring, whilst also evaluating the way in which workshops on the live case are delivered. Partnership learning is encouraged as a means for students to play a more active role in shaping curricula, and the University of Winchester has played a key role in the development of Student Fellow opportunities, to which the work on miscarriage of justice has contributed (Lowe and Sims 2020).

There are also opportunities at postgraduate level. Students on the MSc Applied Criminology programme have been able to undertake work placements in the Crime and Justice Research Centre. Working on a live case is the main component of the placements. Students will then write a dissertation on a related aspect; previous research projects have included an examination of eyewitness testimony, the reliability of forensic evidence, the importance of judge's summing-up speeches and public perceptions of miscarriage of justice.

Student perspectives on working with alleged wrongful convictions

So far, the article has focused on the benefits of working on miscarriages of justice from the perspective of a member of university staff; but the views of students have equal relevance. In 2017, six students (five studying Criminology and one Forensic Studies) who were undertaking WRAP placements on the live case were asked to comment on how their involvement had impacted on their learning by writing a 500-word piece. They were specifically asked to comment on any benefits to their learning experience on their degree programmes; to think about any transferable skills they had developed; their understanding of processes within the criminal justice system; and development relating to their understanding of victim issues. The following sections provide an insight into the students’ responses. The students have all granted permission to be quoted in this article.

Transferable skills development

The overall impression was that the students had gained confidence in working with official documents, and in their ability to make decisions about the actions of agencies within the case. Comments were made on the importance of this work for the students’ skills development and how it had impacted on considerations for their future employment. As the Forensic Studies student reflected:

Having a range of important legal documents with a wide variety of evidence type has allowed me to explore the many areas that exist in cases and the criminal justice system. This ranges from forensic evidence which I am comfortable with, to court transcripts which is an area of crime I am unfamiliar with and therefore there is an expressed opportunity to delve into the legal process and familiarise myself. This work encourages me to exercise lateral thinking particularly when reviewing the documents as it essential to develop an eye for detail and bring details to the surface where they can be analysed in anticipation of establishing a new stance for a fresh evidence argument. (Lucy)

Contribution to the learning experience

Henry (2014) has observed that working on a real-life case provides opportunities to draw on and further develop research skills. The students’ feedback indicated that this was indeed the case. As one student discovered: ‘The project has given me a new and deeper understanding of how to undertake research. I have learnt that research does not have to take one specific path. I have learnt that a combination of ideas and researching techniques are needed to highlight areas of research’ (Jenny).

Another found the experience beneficial on several levels; they took from the experience an awareness of the way action research is conducted in an academic environment. They also acquired a greater understanding of professional roles within the criminal justice system:

It was an insightful experience that gave me knowledge of live case work, the criminal justice system and understanding in various research strategies. The project has given me insight into how academics conduct research, police strategies and thought processes, and finally legal teams, how the defence and prosecution represent in court. [It] allowed me to help research and analyse an alleged miscarriage of justice, looking into six years’ worth of evidence and statements, check police files and any evidence used in the court case. Being involved … allowed me to critically analyse eyewitness testimony, CCTV, and various court documents to try and determine gaps in evidence or anything contradicting which may allow for an appeal. (Peter)

Others articulated how the experience had shed light on the prior learning in their degree, giving them renewed enthusiasm for their chosen subject:

I feel my passion for criminology and particularly miscarriages of justice have grown tremendously. My understanding of the realm of crime and the criminal justice system processes that follow suspected criminality in the UK has broadened. Having the opportunity to study a live case has offered the opportunity to apply my already learnt knowledge from the degree programme and deepen my understanding further (Steve).

This first-hand experience into a live case cannot be compared to anything that is covered in lectures or seminars, it is a chance to put the theory into practice and to see it in action and be a part of it. (Lucy)

Despite there being lots of documents to go through, including summing-up documents and various peoples’ statements, the work is far from boring, as there is so much to get stuck into. By the end of the day you feel exhausted, but you don't mind, because at the same time you are already looking forward to going in the next day and starting all over again! (Jenny)

Understanding of criminal justice system processes and procedures

Citing their desire to work in field within criminal justice, or conduct further postgraduate research in criminology, the students appreciated the opportunity of access to documentation and resources directly used in the criminal justice system. Additionally, they developed awareness of the importance of conducting ‘real world research’ (Robson and McCartan 2015), looking at the case of a convicted individual in a way in which their endeavours might have a positive impact. As one student noted:

You don't just sit and read what other people did in an investigation, you are immersed in the investigation, and it is an amazing feeling knowing that what you are doing could be helping an individual to one day have their case reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Even if this does not happen, it is still a great feeling knowing that the work you are doing has meaning and purpose. (Emma)

The opportunity to view empirical data (in the form of evidence from the original criminal trial) was a fascination for some:

Being involved … allowed me to critically analyse eyewitness testimony, CCTV, and various court documents to try and determine gaps in evidence or anything contradictory, which may allow for an appeal. (Lucy)

The delight that can be garnered working on a live case is based upon the fundamental principal that as a criminology student you are finally able to see the working intricacies of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) on which [my] studies are focused. Working within the research centre has given me a realistic insight to what working within the criminal justice system can be like. The project has given me the opportunity to apply what I have learnt through my degree. It has given me a greater understanding of working within not only the criminal justice system but a wide range of professions. (Peter)

Being in the Crime and Justice Research Centre has allowed me to have a much greater understanding of how the criminal justice system works, as well as the exact workings behind an actual criminal case. It has helped me to appreciate the complexity and difficulty of being involved in a criminal case and has given me an insight into just how much work goes into a criminal case. (Steve)

Issues relating to risks of harm

As this article discussed earlier, a wrongful conviction can have a significant impact on the convicted individual and their family, as well as the victim and their family. Two students made explicit reference to issues of harm for the individual:

The work has been rewarding; knowing that we are the last hope of a potential victim of a miscarriage of justice and, therefore, it can be exciting when we are able to make any form of progress. As a criminology student, you are finally able to see the working intricacies of the criminal justice system … this work directly impacts the life of an individual who may be a legitimate victim of due process. (Emma)

The students clearly found the experience of the Winchester Justice Project a very valuable one. This section will conclude with the words of one student who succinctly summed up his experience in terms of the time commitment and challenges but overall, his sense of satisfaction at his involvement:

My role at the centre has been to analyse evidence, witness statements and court proceedings of a live case, to find and bring attention to any form of evidence which could suggest that a wrongful conviction has been made. This has been challenging due to the vast amounts of documentation; extracting points of interest from this, as well as gaining a solid understanding of the case and the way in which the original trial occurred has required hours of research and commitment. However, at no point have I considered this commitment a burden due to my interest in the topic. (Peter)

Limitations of the work

There are clearly significant benefits in undertaking work on cases of miscarriages of justice; but there are also important issues that need to be considered. First, work on a live case can be labour-intensive in itself, before the management of student engagement is factored in. The live case materials needed to be housed in a secure environment. Given the need to manage a partnership with an external agency, who require consistent progress to be made on the case and ongoing progress reports, a designated staff member is required, as it would be unrealistic for one lecturer to manage both a teaching workload, management of the partnership agreement and maintain a consistent level of live case work. Teaching complex material takes time and is best in small groups. As criminology has proved to be a popular subject, this has resulted in multiple sessions being delivered during the week. This can be a major commitment and very labour intensive; it can also be repetitive to teach in this way, in order to ensure that all groups cover the same content.

Conclusion

This article has discussed the importance of teaching students about miscarriages of justice through the experience of interrogating evidence presented at the crown court trial of an individual who is claiming to have been wrongfully convicted. The value of enabling student involvement in researching wrongful convictions has been previously discussed (Flanagan 2006; Naughton 2012, 2014). It has been reinforced by the comments of students in the small-scale study conducted by the author. Working on a case of alleged wrongful conviction provides students with experience of active learning, which can enhance their degree programme and future prospects of entering careers in the criminal justice system. It can also assist in teaching about risks of harm to the convicted person, their families and the general public, bringing to life theoretical learning through the study of real lives and real issues.

From a pedagogical perspective, working on cases of alleged wrongful conviction as part of a partnership arrangement with a voluntary sector agency is a means to engage students in citizenship learning. It can also encourage greater creativity in the criminology programme and its learners, through scope to develop independent thinking both within the module and by taking advantage of other opportunities to engage in extra-curricular activities. For example, the resources have been used to involve students in influencing the way the curricula are taught, through the use of peer mentoring and student fellows, who work to support and develop the delivery of the undergraduate module. Postgraduate students are able to engage with the Winchester Justice Project as work experience. The author has found that the students have appreciated these opportunities. They have used them to develop their own skills by working on an active learning project that, although returning a case for appeal can be a lengthy process, could potentially have wider implications for the convicted individual and wider society.

Notes
1

The Birmingham Six (Hugh Callaghan, Patrick Joseph Hill, Gerard Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, William Power, and John Walker) were convicted of bombing two public houses in Birmingham city centre in 1975. They were falsely suspected of membership of the IRA, the organisation that claimed responsibility for the offences. Their convictions were overturned in 1991 following a review that discovered police malpractices in questioning the suspects (Poyser 2018a).

2

Sally Clark, convicted of the murder of her two children in 1999, was released from prison four years later following the discreditation of the evidence of a forensic expert, Professor Roy Meadow, and the revelation that evidence of infection in one of the children had been withheld from police and lawyers. Clark was unable to recover from her conviction and imprisonment. She developed severe psychiatric issues and alcoholism. Clark died in 2007 (Naughton 2014; Nurse 2018).

3

The Guildford Four (Gerald Conlon, Patrick Armstrong, Paul Hill, and Carole Richardson) were convicted of the bombing of public houses in Guildford in 1974 (again, these offences were claimed by the IRA). The four were subjected to coercion to make confessions and the convictions were quashed on appeal in 1989 (Poyser 2018a).

4

The Innocence Network, http://www.innocencenetwork.org.uk/.

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Contributor Notes

Jill Dealey is employed at the University of Winchester as both Lecturer in Criminology and Research Officer in Criminology. In the latter role, she has responsibility for overseeing work on miscarriages of justice, conducting research and supporting students to work on live cases. She is a former Probation Officer who worked with high risk offenders in the community and in prisons. She holds a PhD from the University of Portsmouth and BA and MA degrees in Sociology from the University of Warwick. Email: Jill.Dealey@winchester.ac.uk

Learning and Teaching

The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences

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