What Can DNA Exonerations Tell Us about Racial Differences in Wrongful-Conviction Rates?
We show that data on DNA exonerations can be informative about racial differences in wrongful-conviction rates under some assumptions regarding the DNA-exoneration process. We argue that, with respect to rape cases, the observed data and the plausibility of the required assumptions combine to strongly suggest that the wrongful-conviction rate is significantly higher among black convicts than white convicts. By contrast, we argue that the ability of data on DNA exonerations to reveal information about racial differences in wrongful-conviction rates for murder is much more limited.
Bjerk, David and Helland, Eric
"What Can DNA Exonerations Tell Us about Racial Differences in Wrongful-Conviction Rates?,"
Journal of Law and Economics: Vol. 63:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/jle/vol63/iss2/5