Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Radelet

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Wilkins

Third Advisor

Dr. Irene Blair


Little is known about the individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in the United States. Research on capital punishment focuses heavily quantitative data and legal analysis to understand the phenomena. In order to fill a gap in the literature, this thesis explores the lives of death row exonerees before their incarcerations, during their incarcerations, and after their incarcerations. Despite having unique experiences, similar themes emerged throughout the in-depth interviews. Topics such as relationships, collateral consequences, and institutionalization are discussed. Findings from this research can help future researchers address gaps in the literature and provide the knowledge needed for policy reform.