Added: September 21, 2013 – Last updated: August 1, 2015


Authors: Matthew B. Johnson, Shakina Griffith, and Carlene Y. Barnaby

Title: African Americans Wrongly Convicted of Sexual Assault Against Whites

Subtitle: Eyewitness Error and Other Case Features

Journal: Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice

Volume: 11

Issue: 4

Year: 2013 (Received: September 1, 2011, Resubmitted: March 2012, Accepted: November 1, 2012, Published online: September 6, 2013)

Pages: 277-294

ISSN: 1537-7938 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1537-7946 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | U.S. History | Prosecution: Wrong Convictions; Types: Interracial Rape


Link: EBSCOhost (Restricted Access)

Link: Taylor & Francis Online (Restricted Access)


Authors: Matthew Barry Johnson, Department of Psychology, City University of New York

Abstract: »A total of 35 African American men who were wrongly convicted of sexual assault against Whites were identified through review of journalist, scholarly, Web-based, and published legal decisions. Most of the cases occurred during the 1982–1992 decade and involved postconviction DNA exonerations. Consistent with the literature on wrongful convictions, erroneous eyewitness identification by the assault victim was a major source of error. Other factors that contributed to the wrongful convictions were coerced false confessions, all-White juries, discounted alibis, misconduct by officials, flawed expert testimony, and hue-and-cry circumstances. The construction of the image of the Black sexual predator as well as the challenges presented by cross-racial identification also are discussed.« (Source: Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice)


  Introduction (p. 278)
    The “Scottsboro Case” (p. 279)
  The Cases (p. 280)
    Faulty Eyewitness Identification (p. 280)
    Coerced False Confession (p. 284)
    All-White Juries (p. 287)
  Discussion (p. 288)
  References (p. 290)
  Contributors (p. 293)