Research has only recently begun to examine public perception towards exonerees. For example, experimental research in Canada found that participants rated wrongfully convicted individuals as less warm than non-convicted individuals and desired comparatively more social distance from wrongfully convicted individuals (Clow & Leach, 2013). Given the influence of public sentiment on political decision making, research examining public perception provides insight into potential policy direction. With regard to the provision of compensation, for example, research has found that the general public believe compensation should be determined by reference to the number of years spent in prison and the loss of earnings experienced as a result of the wrongful conviction (Clow et al., 2012). The perception of the public with regard to the issue of financial compensation may go some way towards influencing politicians to provide a legislative basis for such claims in jurisdictions currently lacking such provision. In Australia, research to date has focused on issues of law reform and the more theoretical examination of wrongful conviction. The proposed research will be the first of its kind in Australia to quantitatively examine perceptions of wrongful conviction. The research aims to address two broad questions: do the perceptions of the public towards an exoneree differ according to the period of time the exoneree has spent in prison and do the perceptions of the public differ according to the type of evidence used to exculpate that person?

Assignment 1

Topic:

Public perceptions of exonerees.

Background:

Research has only recently begun to examine public perception towards exonerees. For example, experimental research in Canada found that participants rated wrongfully convicted individuals as less warm than non-convicted individuals and desired comparatively more social distance from wrongfully convicted individuals (Clow & Leach, 2013). Given the influence of public sentiment on political decision making, research examining public perception provides insight into potential policy direction. With regard to the provision of compensation, for example, research has found that the general public believe compensation should be determined by reference to the number of years spent in prison and the loss of earnings experienced as a result of the wrongful conviction (Clow et al., 2012). The perception of the public with regard to the issue of financial compensation may go some way towards influencing politicians to provide a legislative basis for such claims in jurisdictions currently lacking such provision.

In Australia, research to date has focused on issues of law reform and the more theoretical examination of wrongful conviction. The proposed research will be the first of its kind in Australia to quantitatively examine perceptions of wrongful conviction. The research aims to address two broad questions: do the perceptions of the public towards an exoneree differ according to the period of time the exoneree has spent in prison and do the perceptions of the public differ according to the type of evidence used to exculpate that person?

Task:

You will be provided with a few research articles that relate to the topic of your literature review. Your task is to identify an array of relevant and appropriate articles, read and summarise those articles and write a literature review of no more than 1,000 words, detailing the main results of this research.

Your literature review must include a brief introduction, a body and a conclusion. Your introduction should clearly indicate the research topic and outline why it is important that research is conducted in this area. The body of your literature should provide an overview and discussion of research that has been conducted relating to this topic. Your conclusion should provide an overview of the main points that have been covered in your paper.

 

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