Document Type



This paper aims to examine current high-profile state-level cases of those who have been put on death row and shed light on those individuals that may possibly be wrongfully convicted, either factually or procedurally. Previous studies have documented wrongful convictions within death row sentences, which is significant given the permanence of this penalty. This penalty is also disproportionately used against African American defendants. This study addresses three cases that expose similar factors and patterns that further our understanding of how race, victim-offender pairings, and legal irregularities affect death penalty cases. For this study, we used qualitative data to gather the individual's history, case and given punishment to outline a parallel across their process within each case. This research has important implications, including highlighting the presence of analyzing more in-depth of wrongful convictions within African American men. This study will close the gaps by going in-depth into these cases and investigating the variables affecting the appeal process to figure out why such cases have yet to be overturned.


Criminal Justice

Thesis Comittee

Dr. Jamie Huff, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Mia Ortiz, Committee Member
Dr. Michael J. DeValve, Committee Member