Friday, October 28, 2011

New Faculty Publication: Helen Anderson on Revising Harmless Error

Helen A. Anderson, Revising Harmless Error: Making Innocence Relevant to Direct Appeals, 17 Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 391 (2011), available at

Professor Anderson’s latest article explores the history and development of harmless error. Describing findings from the Innocence Project, she examines how harmless error analysis is applied in cases where the likely causes of wrongful conviction are implicated.

She proposes guidelines and changes that can be made to reinvigorate harmless error analysis so that courts recognize and take seriously the possibility of innocence, writing:

It is time for a better-informed harmless error standard that incorporates the lessons of the last three decades about the realities of criminal justice.

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