What It Takes to Free the Innocent and Create a Just Criminal Justice System​

The Graduate Center, CUNY · What It Takes to Free the Innocent and Create a Just Criminal Justice System​

Edwin Grimsley is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in biology. His dissertation, The Collateral and Cumulative Effects of Marijuana Criminalization, examines the racialized development of marijuana laws in the United States and how the criminalization of marijuana possession disproportionately affects Black people. 
Prior to joining the Graduate Center, Grimsley spent 10 years as a case analyst at the Innocence Project where he used DNA evidence to overturn wrongful convictions. His work led to freeing seven people from prison.
A multitude of experts assert that the U.S. criminal justice system is broken. The U.S. has less than 5% of the world's population but 20% of the world's prisoners. Here, Black and brown people are much more likely to be imprisoned than white people. 
On this episode of The Thought Project podcast, Grimsley shines a light on how the U.S. sends thousands of innocent people to prison and how science can be leveraged to prove the innocence of Black youth who were wrongfully convicted. He also discusses his latest work to address systemic injustice in the criminal justice system.
To learn more about Grimsley’s work, we invite you to read his co-authored paper “Criminal and Civil Summons Court Appearance: Predictors of Timely Response to Summonses for Lower-Level Offenses in New York City.”

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Access the transcript.


Submitted on: JAN 6, 2022

Category: General GC News | Sociology | Student News | The Thought Project