You are on page 1of 2

Brianna McDuffie Mrs.

Hensel English 4 7 February 2014

Topic Proposal: Wrongful Convictions

Statement of purpose: The purpose of this paper is to find out why/how wrongful convictions happen. The reason I should be allowed to research this topic is because wrongful convictions has become a major problem in the criminal justice system due to perjury, faulty witness identification, and misconduct by prosecutors. Also I should be allowed to research this topic because in the future I plan to help those whom have been wrongfully convicted. I have many questions about this topic as in: what crimes have the highest rates of wrongful convictions?, what race is mostly wrongfully convicted?, and what is the common thread among cases where people have been wrongfully convicted of a crime?. Mainly what I hope to find out about my topic is how to decrease the rate of wrongful convictions and/or how to change some of the reasons people get wrongfully convicted.

Background: The personal experience that I have with this topic is that my brother was wrongfully convicted of rape and/or sexual assault (which is one of the highest rating crimes of wrongful convictions). He was convicted due to the misconduct by a prosecutor. When he was convicted he served five years until the girl finally told that he didnt do it, but that is five years that he cannot get back or my family.

Significance: This topic is important to learn about because wrongful convictions hurts peoples lives and changes them. But most of all it hurts the families of those who have been wrongfully convicted. What makes wrongful convictions significant enough to spend an entire semester researching is the personal experience I have with it and the way I believe it can be changed in the future.

Description: The type of research I will conduct to find my information is the internet because it can be a good source and it can help me to be able to find out mainly all the information that I need. Also I will use books because they are a good source when it comes to finding truthful information. Both of these types of research will help me a lot when it com to finding information on my topic.

Methodology: The first type of source I will use to research my topic is books and then the internet. The best search terms to use when finding information will be the following: wrongful convictions, falsely accused, people who believe that they were wrongfully convicted, wrongful convictions rate, and more. I did plan to conduct an interview at J. Ruben, when we go on our field trip in pre-law. Also I might interview someone I know and/or find an online interview. These are some of the questions I might ask: Do you think you were wrongfully convicted?, What were you charged with?, Can you explain how this has affected your life and your families?, and Do you plan to have a re-trial?. Those are some of the questions I might ask while conducting an interview.

Problems: Some problems I anticipate having in the research process is not finding all the answers to my questions. Also that some of the sources I may need will not be available to me. The way I will work around this is just try my best to find all the information I need and try to find more sources to replace the ones that were not available.