Addressing the Impact of Wrongful Convictions on Crime Victims
"When a wrongfully convicted individual is exonerated, the original crime victim may experience feelings of guilt, fear, helplessness, devastation and depression. For some victims, the impact of the wrongful conviction may be comparable to — or even worse than — that of their original victimization.

These are the findings of an NIJ-funded study examining how wrongful convictions affect the original crime victims, an area in which no prior empirical research had been conducted. Researchers from ICF International conducted in-depth studies to identify the shared experiences and service needs of the original crime victims in 11 cases of wrongful conviction. Recognizing the sensitive nature of the study, the researchers initially contacted victims through third parties, such as district attorneys' offices and innocence commissions that had pre-existing relationships with the victims. They also used what is called 'snowball sampling,' meaning they worked with participating victims and stakeholders to reach out to crime victims in other cases of wrongful conviction and to identify service providers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, attorneys and family members who supported victims during the exonerations."

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