Robert J. Norris

Robert J. Norris

Robert J. Norris

Associate Professor

Social change and legal reform; Social justice and critical criminology; Politics in the criminal legal system; Public opinion; Wrongful convictions

Dr. Norris's interests revolve around change - how it happens and how it is shaped by social, cultural, political, and legal factors. He generally takes a critical, multi-disciplinary approach in thinking about the criminal legal system and is particularly interested in social movements, policy reform, and public opinion. Much of his work has focused on wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice, but he is also interested more broadly in state crime/harm, the death penalty, and other social justice-oriented issues. He is the author/co-author of three books and more than twenty-five scholarly articles, chapters, and other publications. Dr. Norris co-directs (with Dr. Janani Umamaheswar) the Social Justice Collaborative in the CLS department.

Selected Publications


Norris, Robert J., William D. Hicks, and Kevin J. Mullinix. (2023). The Politics of Innocence: How Wrongful Convictions Shape Public Opinion. New York: NYU Press. 

Norris, Robert J., Catherine L. Bonventre, and James R. Acker. (2021). When Justice Fails: Causes and Consequences of Wrongful Convictions (2nd ed.). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. 

Norris, Robert J. (2017). Exonerated: A History of the Innocence Movement. New York, NY: NYU Press. 


Madrigal, Andrew J.* and Robert J. Norris. (2022). The good, the bad, and the uncertain: State harm, the aftermath of exoneration, and compensation for the wrongly convicted. Critical Criminology 30: 895-913.

Zalman, Marvin and Robert J. Norris. (2021). Measuring innocence: How to think about the rate of wrongful convictions. New Criminal Law Review 24: 601-654.

Mullinix, Kevin J., Toby Bolsen, and Robert J. Norris. (2021). The feedback effects of controversial police use of force. Political Behavior 43: 881-898.

Norris, Robert J., James R. Acker, Catherine L. Bonventre, and Allison D. Redlich. (2020). Thirty years of innocence: Wrongful convictions and exonerations in the United States, 1989-2018. Wrongful Convictions Law Review 1: 2-58.

Dum, Christopher P., Robert J. Norris, and Kevin Weng. (2017). Punishing benevolence: The criminalization of homeless feeding as an act of state harm. Critical Criminology 25: 483-506.

Courses Taught

CRIM 100: Introduction to Criminal Justice

CRIM 402: Punishment and Corrections

CRIM 408: Criminal Courts

CRIM 424: Constitutional Law: Criminal Process and Rights

CRIM 490: Wrongful Convictions

CRIM 490: The Death Penalty

CRIM 491/492: Honors Seminar: Public Perceptions of Wrongful Convictions and Criminal Injustice

CRIM 595/795: Learning from Errors in the Justice System

CRIM 795: Teaching in Criminology, Law & Society


Ph.D., School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (2015)

M.A., School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (2011)

B.A., Sociology, UNC-Greensboro (2009)