Framing DNA: social Movement Theory and the Foundations of the Innocence Movement

The “innocence movement” has often been mentioned, but rarely explored in depth. In particular, scholars have yet to study the beginning of the movement thoroughly. This article explores the early history of the innocence movement, referred to as the “foundations” of the movement, suggesting that th...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of contemporary criminal justice
Main Author: Norris, Robert J. (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2017
In:Journal of contemporary criminal justice
Year: 2017, Volume: 33, Issue: 1, Pages: 26-42
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:The “innocence movement” has often been mentioned, but rarely explored in depth. In particular, scholars have yet to study the beginning of the movement thoroughly. This article explores the early history of the innocence movement, referred to as the “foundations” of the movement, suggesting that the common focus solely on DNA as the source of the movement is an overly narrow historical focus. Based on archival research and interviews with key movement participants, this article draws on social movement theory to better understand the roots of the innocence movement, including its organizational foundation, early leadership, and the identification of the “problem” of wrongful conviction as a cause worthy of collective action. These three developments re-framed DNA as a tool to seek justice through post-conviction exonerations, thus creating the foundation on which the innocence movement was built.
ISSN:1552-5406
DOI:10.1177/1043986216673014