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The Postconviction Workgroup: Cooperation Between Adversaries in Exoneration Cases

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Policy Review Volume: 33 Issue: 8 Dated: 2022 Pages: 870-890
Elizabeth Webster
Date Published
21 pages

This study examines cooperation among attorneys to investigate potential wrongful convictions.


This study explores how attorneys cooperate and even collaborate to investigate potential wrongful convictions. Results demonstrate that prosecutors valued open communication and transparency, ample time to review the case, and diplomacy and tact in protecting the reputation of the prosecutors’ office. For example, prosecutors and defense attorneys may engage in postconviction negotiations regarding media strategies and misconduct allegations. These results may help guide policy proposals that promote the independence and integrity of postconviction innocence review. The study employs semistructured interviews with 19 defense attorneys and 20 prosecutors who have each helped exonerate a wrongfully convicted defendant. (Published Abstract Provided)