Innocence Framing And Public Trust In Police

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Bryan Gertz (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Robert Norris

Abstract: Since the late 1980s, wrongful convictions, exonerations, and the accompanying innocence movement have gradually gained prominence as important contemporary issues facing the modern American justice system. Research has documented the rise of the “innocence frame” in media discourse. Yet, little is known about the innocence frame’s effect on public opinion. Framing information in separate, distinct ways may yield different results. In this paper, I compare the impact of thematic and episodic framing of wrongful conviction information for trust in police. Providing factual numbers on exonerations gives respondents opportunity to view wrongful convictions as an institutional, systematic issue, and erodes trust in police. Regarding the episodic frame, providing information in the form of a narrative will evoke empathy, but not create a feeling of systematic blame. I further discuss the implications of my findings for wrongful convictions, framing theory, and trust in police.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Gertz, B. (2018). "Innocence Framing And Public Trust In Police." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Wrongful Convictions, Framing, Trust in Police, Public Opinion

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