Robert J. Norris

Robert J. Norris

Robert J. Norris

Associate Professor

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

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 social movements, 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 also studies the death penalty and other social justice-oriented issues. He is the author/co-author of Exonerated: A History of the Innocence Movement (NYU Press, 2017/2019), When Justice Fails: Causes and Consequences of Wrongful Convictions (CAP, 2018/2021), and The Politics of Innocence (NYU Press, forthcoming). He also co-edited Examining Wrongful Convictions: Stepping Back, Moving Forward (CAP, 2014) and has authored/co-authored more than 25 scholarly articles, book chapters, and other publications. Dr. Norris co-directs (with Dr. Janani Umamaheswar) the Social Justice Collaborative in the CLS department.

Selected Publications

Madrigal, Andrew J. and Robert J. Norris. (In press). The good, the bad, and the uncertain: State harm, the aftermath of exoneration, and compensation for the wrongly convicted. Critical Criminology.

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. 

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.

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

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)