Spring 2019 - CRIM 438 D100

Wrongful Convictions and Other Miscarriages of Justice (3)

Class Number: 8299

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 2503, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 18, 2019
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    AQ 3005, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Maike Knoechelmann
  • Prerequisites:

    CRIM 330 is recommended.



Examines the issues of wrongful convictions and other miscarriages of justice. Considers the major factors that contribute to wrongful convictions despite the safeguards built into the system, and ways to prevent or reduce their number. Students with credit for CRIM 417 under this title (Fall 2007 or Fall 2008) may not take this course for further credit.


This seminar examines the issues of wrongful convictions and other miscarriages of justice. It considers the major factors that contribute to wrongful convictions despite the safeguards built into the system, and ways to prevent or reduce their number. Wrongful convictions are not limited to one country and therefore this seminar will explore the phenomenon across many Western societies. The phenomenon of wrongful conviction will be explored from both a social scientific and legal perspective.


  • Final Exam 25%
  • Midterm Exam 25%
  • Seminar Participation 20%
  • Term Paper (20%) and Presentation (10%) 30%



1. Katz, H. (2011). Justice Miscarried: Inside Wrongful Convictions in Canada. Toronto, CA: Dundurn.

2. Keenan, K. T., & Brockman, J. (2010). Mr. Big: Exposing Undercover Operations in Canada. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.

3. Other assigned readings (e.g., government reports, case law, journal articles).

Department Undergraduate Notes:

ATTENTION: STUDENTS WITH A DISABILITY: Please contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities, (MBC 1250 or Phone 778-782-3112) if you need or require assistance, not your individual instructors.  

  • N.B.: Students are reminded that attendance in the first week of classes is important. However, there are no tutorials in the first week.
  • ON CAMPUS COURSES ONLY: Assignments not submitted to the Professor/T.A. during class/office hours must be placed in the security box behind the General Office (ASSC 10125), or submitted as per Professor’s instructions for courses taking place at Surrey Campus. The assignment drop-off box is emptied Monday to Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. only and the contents are date stamped accordingly. No other department’s date stamp will apply (e.g. Library/Campus Security) and the School of Criminology is not responsible for assignments submitted any other way (e.g. slid under office doors). The University does NOT accept assignments by fax. 
  • A student must complete ALL aspects of a course (including assignments, exams, class participation, presentations, chat room components of Distance Education courses and other), otherwise he/she will receive a grade of N. 
  • E-mail policy for on campus courses only: The School of Criminology STRONGLY DISCOURAGES the use of e-mail in lieu of office hour visits. Criminology advises its instructional staff that they are NOT required to respond to student e-mails and that students wishing to confer with them should do so in person during scheduled meeting times.
  • The University has formal policies regarding intellectual dishonesty and grade appeals which may be obtained from the General Office of the School of Criminology.
  • Under GP18, the University has policies and procedures which respond to our obligations under the BC Human Rights Code to provide a harassment and discrimination free environment for the students, staff and faculty of this institution.  Members of this community have an affirmative obligation to safeguard the human rights of others.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html