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Weighing the Evidence

Weighing the Evidence: Freeing the innocent and improving criminal investigations

An ignored clue. A misidentified fingerprint. A nervous smile interpreted as a guilty smirk. Misunderstandings of evidence can tip the scales of justice the wrong way, causing innocent people to wind up behind bars and guilty people to run free.

Texas State professor Kim Rossmo, a former detective inspector, researches how faulty investigative thinking can result in an unsolved crime or a wrongful conviction. In his book Criminal Investigative Failures, Rossmo details his findings, which have helped police agencies around the world increase their awareness of potential pitfalls, resulting in improved investigative techniques.

The justice system will never be perfect, but Rossmo is helping to balance its scales.


Exonerated Faces

Texas Exoneration Statistics

  • 49: Number of DNA Exonerations
  • 13.5: Average Number of Years Incarcerated
  • 80: Percentage of Cases Involving an Eyewitness ID Error

Source: The Innocence Project of Texas; Statistics based on first 40 DNA exonerations in Texas


Resources


Rising Star - Dr. Kim Rossmo

Kim Rossmo

Dr. Kim Rossmo is the University Endowed Chair in Criminology and the Director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation at Texas State University. View his Texas State bio.