Miscarriages of Justice and Responsibility

The International Journal on Responsibility (IJR), an international, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal housed at James Madison University, is seeking submissions for a special issue on miscarriages of justice. The journal focuses on theoretical, practical, and methodological issues related to the concept of responsibility, and seeks to answer: “Who or what is responsible to do what for whom?” With this question in mind, this special issue will center on the complex nuances associated with responsibility for producing and rectifying erroneous outcomes in the criminal justice system.

Recent attention to wrongful convictions has highlighted how the routine operation of the criminal justice system can affect errors of justice. The criminology of wrongful conviction is a developing field that attempts to explain why the conviction of the innocent occurs and to identify systemic criminal justice policy reforms that would reduce or eliminate wrongful convictions.

Although scholarship on miscarriages of justice has advanced, there is a need for a critical criminological approach to the study of wrongful conviction to understand how social forces and institutional logics, along with human error, coalesce to convict the innocent.

The focus of this special volume will advance theoretical and methodological scholarship on miscarriages of justice through the lens of responsibility, and inform policy relating to the responsibilities of various criminal justice actors for either producing or rectifying errors of justice. In doing so, scholars in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, psychology, or the law, may wish to focus not only on wrongful convictions, but on factors that affect whether innocents are rightly, or the guilty are wrongly, filtered out of the criminal justice system (Leo, 2017).


This volume of IJR will be guest edited by Heather L. Scheuerman of James Madison University. Manuscripts should be submitted to scheuehl@jmu.edu and should not exceed approximately 40 double-spaced pages (including Tables, Figures, and references).

Submission of a manuscript indicates a commitment to publish in IJR; therefore, manuscripts should not reflect previously published work and should not be under consideration elsewhere. Manuscripts must also conform to APA format. All manuscript submissions will undergo a peer review process. Manuscript submissions will be considered on a rolling basis until December 30, 2022. Questions regarding this call for papers can be directed to the guest editor at scheuehl@jmu.edu. 

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