The Politics of Wrongful Convictions in China

Dr Lena Zhong1
1City University Of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Recently a series of high-profile wrongful convictions in China have undermined public confidence with the criminal justice system and the official stress on ‘rule the country by law’. This study aims to further the scholarship on wrongful convictions in China by investigating the characteristics of 141 erroneous convictions (206 defendants) in which the defendants are declared factually innocent by a court. These cases allow an examination of the direct contributing factors (such as mistaken eyewitness identification and forensic errors) and underlying political factors (such as the form of political-legal work as led by the Party/State and political importance to maintaining social stability) for wrongful conviction in China. The analysis enables us to develop more effective countermeasures against wrongful conviction in the Chinese context.


Dr. Lena Zhong is associate professor of criminology at City University of Hong Kong. Her research interest includes policing, crime prevention, and organized crime.


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