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A University of Manchester historian is to study the influence of Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of renowned TV attorney Perry Mason, in a bid to reveal the roots of the fascination with stories about wrongful criminal conviction.
Forensic science historian Professor Ian Burney hopes the study will – with the help of a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship – better understand some of the challenges facing today's worldwide 'innocence projects'
Experts - Obsession - Crime
And that includes what many experts have described as an 'unhealthy obsession' with true crime.
Gardner—an American lawyer and author who died in 1970 – devoted much of his life to "The court of Last Resort" who with forensic, legal and investigative experts tackled miscarriages of justice.
Court - Advent - DNA - Testing- - TV
The court, which operated before the advent of DNA testing- was later turned into a popular TV series.
Professor Burney said: "Since Perry Mason and The court of Last Resort, innocence projects have shifted the focus away from legal arguments to DNA testing.
Others - Trickle - Exonerations - Fatigue - Outrage
"But I and many others believe that the constant trickle of exonerations is leading to 'innocence fatigue,' as the public incrementally loses its outrage and fascination with the particulars of each new case.
"And as old cases with genetically untested evidence become rarer, the rate of DNA-based exonerations is levelling off."
Decades - Issue - Conviction - Attention - Public
Over the past three decades, the issue of wrongful conviction has captured the attention of the public and lawyers in the US and around the world.
Since Gary Dotson was cleared by post-conviction DNA testing in 1989, national advocacy organizations, spearheaded by the...
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