Robert J. Norris

Robert J. Norris

Robert J. Norris

Assistant Professor

Social change, politics, and legal reform; Public opinion; Criminal legal process and decision-making; Social justice; Wrongful convictions; Criminal admissions

Dr. Norris's research interests revolve around change - how reform happens and how it is shaped by social, cultural, political, and legal factors. In particular, he is interested in state policy reform and public opinion about the criminal legal system. Much of his work focuses specifically on wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice. He has published numerous books, articles, and chapters on innocence-related policy reforms, the development of the innocence advocacy movement, and the theoretical and methodological development of wrongful conviction research. He also studies criminal admissions (interrogations, confessions, and plea bargaining), the death penalty, and other social justice issues. He is currently working on a book exploring the political dimensions of wrongful convictions and the innocence movement.

Selected Publications

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

Zalman, Marvin, & Robert J. Norris. (In press, 2021). Measuring innocence: How to think about the rate of wrongful convictions. New Criminal Law Review

Mullinix, Kevin J., Toby Bolsen, and Robert J. Norris. (2020). The feedback effects of controversial police use of force. Political Behavior. Online first, doi: 10.1007/s11109-020-09646-x.

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.

Norris, Robert J., Jennifer N. Weintraub, James R. Acker, Allison D. Redlich, and Catherine L. Bonventre. (2020). The criminal costs of wrongful convictions: Can we reduce crime by protecting the innocent? Criminology and Public Policy 19: 367-388.

Norris, Robert J. and Kevin J. Mullinix. (2020). Framing innocence: An experimental test of the effects of wrongful convictions on public opinion. Journal of Experimental Criminology 16: 311-334.

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

Courses Taught

CRIM 100: Introduction to Criminal Justice

CRIM 402: Punishment and Corrections

CRIM 424: Constitutional Law: Criminal Process and Rights

CRIM 490: Wrongful Convictions

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


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)