Miscarriages Of Justice Essay Free

Module Aims

The module aims to provide you with a knowledge and understanding of the meaning and origins of ‘miscarriage of justice’ and a critical awareness of its implications within a common law system that attempts to achieve a balance between ‘due process’ and ‘crime control’.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Criminal justice in England and Wales, including comparative analysis with Scotland, USA and Canada
  • The meaning and origins of the term ‘miscarriage of justice’
  • The nature, extent and causes of miscarriages of justice and their impact upon victims
  • Your critical awareness of its implications within a common law system that attempts to achieve a balance between ‘due process’ and ‘crime control’.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe ‘due process’ and ‘crime control’ models of justice, the principles and priorities that guide their operations on the criminal justice process and the impact of their conflicting pressures on prosecution outcomes
  • Explain the role of the police in the construction of a case and collection of evidence
  • Identify the key features of recent and past cases of miscarriage of justice and the procedures for reviewing alleged or suspected miscarriages of justice
  • Describe how these impact upon victims
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Deploy analytic and evaluative skills in relation to complex situations
  • Construct a coherent and reasoned argument in writing
  • Communicate reasoned arguments effectively within a group
  • Exercise initiative and responsibility to conduct a piece of independent research
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical awareness of the difficulties associated with the exercise of due process protections
  • Evaluate the roles of the police and prosecution authorities, the Home Office and the Court of Appeal in miscarriage of justices cases
  • Critically assess the function and effectiveness of the Criminal Cases Review Commission
  • Analyse current and past cases of miscarriage of justice
  • Appreciate the significance of the impact of miscarriages of justice on victims

The topics covered in the module will include: • the nature and extent of miscarriages of justice, • case studies and case histories • theoretical perspectives on criminal justice systems in the UK • presumptions of guilt or innocence • the role of the police • the role of the forensic science service • the role of the Criminal Cases Review Commission • the role of the media • campaigns and campaigning organisations • comparative analysis with other jurisdictions

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • lectures • seminars which will give you the opportunity to construct a coherent and reasoned argument orally • tutorials Learning activities include: • discussion • essay writing • feedback on assignments • watching films and documentaries Assessment will comprise a portfolio of work (total 5,000 words) focusing on a specific case of miscarriage of justice. The portfolio will be submitted at the end of the teaching period.

Completion of assessment task50
Wider reading or practice10
Preparation for scheduled sessions64
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Huff, C. R., Killas, M., eds (2008). Wrongful Conviction: International Perspectives on Miscarriages of Justice. 

Walker, C (1999). Miscarriages of Justice: A Review of ‘Justice in Error’. 

Naughton, M (2009). The Criminal Cases review Commission: Hope for the Innocent. 

Ogletree, C. J., Sarat, A.. (2009). When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice. 

Naughton, M (2007). Rethinking Miscarriages of Justice: Beyond the Tip of thje Iceberg. 

Nobles, R., Schiff, D. (2000). Understanding Miscarriages of Justice. 

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


As there is no set text for this module, you will not have to buy any of the books listed. They will be available via the Library and/or the Blackboard pages for this module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Miscarriage of Justice Essay

1824 Words8 Pages

Arguably three of the most sensational criminal trials in American history are the Commonwealth vs. Borden, California vs. Simpson and Los Angeles vs. Rodney King. All three of these cases received unprecedented amounts of media attention and verdicts from the jury that shocked the country. In my opinion justice, especially social and moral justice, was not achieved in these trials. Social class, race and gender all had a huge impact on the jury’s decisions in each of these cases. High priced defense attorneys were able to place reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors despite the substantial amount of evidence proving the seemingly obvious guilt of Borden, Simpson and the Los Angeles Police department. This paper will focus on these…show more content…

She tried purchasing prussic acid the day before the murders, also her parents suffered from severe stomach sickness in the days before their untimely deaths. Relations between Lizzie and her stepmother were strained. There was a newly broken axe found in the basement of the home but fingerprinting was not allowed. Lizzie was known to have “funny spells” which caused her to act oddly and erratically. At the time of the murders she claimed to have been in the barn loft, which would have been stifling hot, looking for fishing lures she surely knew were not there but at their vacation home. A friend, Alice Russell, saw Lizzie burning a light blue dress that Lizzie claimed was old and covered in paint. She was, however, seen wearing a similar dress on the day of the murders.
Based on all the above information, how is it possible that the jury deliberated for a mere hour and a half before returning with a not guilty verdict? Well, the highly skilled defense team used holes in the prosecution’s case to cast doubt in the minds of the jurors. Where, the defense asked, was the handle that supposedly broke off the axe, the alleged murder weapon? They also exploited the government’s timeline of events that occurred on that fateful day, which allowed just eight to thirteen minutes between Mr. Borden’s murder and Lizzie’s call to the maid Bridget Sullivan. Suggesting how difficult it would be to wash blood off one’s body, clothes, murder weapon and

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