Wrongful Conviction: International Perspectives on Miscarriages of Justice

By C. Ronald Huff; Martin Killias | Go to book overview

2
WRONGFUL CONVICTION
AND MORAL PANIC
National and International Perspectives on
Organized Child Sexual Abuse

RANDALL GROMETSTEIN

The study of wrongful conviction has focused on the conviction of individuals in spite of evidence that casts serious doubt on the defendant's guilt. This chapter examines a different type of case, in which several defendants may be convicted but in which doubt exists as to whether any crime was committed at all. The moral panic about organized abuse of children began in North America in the early 1980s, spread to other English-speaking countries, and is currently afflicting Western Europe. In this chapter I argue that the organized child abuse cases shed light on some weaknesses of Western legal systems that render them vulnerable to wrongful conviction. The structure of this chapter is as follows. I first discuss moral panic theory and the moral panic about organized child abuse. Then, using factors found by C. Ronald Huff (Huff, Rattner, and Sagarin, 1996; Huff 2004) to contribute to wrongful conviction, I discuss the role played by four of those factors—overzealousness by police and prosecutors; false and coerced confessions and improper interrogations; forensic errors, incompetence, and fraud; and the adversary system itself—in the organized abuse cases. Additionally, the moral panic concept suggests another source of error, namely, the weakening of traditional legal safeguards due to the perceived urgency of the danger threatening society. In conclusion, I recommend, as does Huff (2004), the establishing of criminal case review commissions, or “innocence commissions.” In my view, the organized abuse cases demonstrate the need for such commissions.

The moral panic about organized child abuse began in the early 1980s in the United States and Canada, spread to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands,

-11-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Wrongful Conviction: International Perspectives on Miscarriages of Justice
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 318

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.