California Western --
Interamericana School of Law
Wrongful Convictions Seminar Syllabus
Professor Brooks
Summer 2010

This course is designed to give students an overview of the legal issues associated with wrongful convictions.  Hundreds of cases of wrongful convictions have been reversed in the United States over the past decade.  In order to decrease future wrongful convictions, and reform the criminal justice system, it is important to study the causes of these convictions.

This course will be graded pass/fail.  Your grade will be based on a 3-5 page memo you will submit within one week of completing the course.  The memo should identify a potential problem within the Puerto Rican justice system that could lead to wrongful convictions or a particular case where there may have been a wrongful conviction.

(8/2/2010) Class 1:  Why are People Wrongfully Convicted? 
Reading: Marion v. Nebraska, 20 Neb. 233, July 1886; Atkins article; Cole article; Richards article.

(8/3/2010) Class 2:  Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Reading: Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963); Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).

(8/4/2010) Class 3:  Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct
Reading: Zain article; In the Matter of An Investigation of the West Virginia State Police Crime Laboratory, 190 W.Va. 321 (1993); In re John Stoll, No. HC77-49 (2004); Stoll articles.

(8/5/2010) Class 4:  Eyewitness Testimony
Reading: Manson v. Brathwaite, 432 US 2243 (1977) Grant v. City of Long Beach, 2003 U.S.App. LEXIS 13038 (2003); People v. Kindle, No. B151449, 2002 WL 1554118 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.); Herman Atkins articles.

(8/6/2010) Class 5:  DNA, Science, and False Evidence
Reading: District Attorney's Office for the Third Judicial District v. Osborne, 129 S.Ct. 2308 (2009); California Penal Code 1405; Richardson v. Superior Court, 43 Cal.4th 1040 (2008).