After Exoneration: An Investigation of Stigma and the Wrongfully Convicted

The above is the title of the thesis by Oscar R. Molina of University of Florida. The research outcomes challenges a host of our conventional beliefs and misconceptions on how we treat exonerees. Excerpts from the abstract reads thus:

‘Research has demonstrated that stigma may affect the re-entry experiences of individuals who are exonerated of crimes they did not commit. In this study, we examined exoneree stigmatization by examining participants’ perceptions of exonerated individuals compared to parolees and average individuals. In addition, we varied the target’s race to examine if race played a role in stigma levied upon exonerated individuals. Results indicated that people who are exonerated and people who are actually guilty are stigmatized more than those with no criminal history. Race did not affect the level of stigma encountered, but further research is needed prior to concluding that race does not affect stigma for exonerated individuals’

The entire research can be accessed here

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