Innocentrism
Daniel S. Medwed   |   2008 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1549
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The following Essay by Professor Daniel S. Medwed provides a re-sponse to skeptics and antagonists of the emerging centrality of inno-cence-based arguments in criminal law. Professor Medwed contends that the growing focus on innocence, which he terms “innocentrism,” is a positive occurrence and one that ultimately can complement, rather than replace, the emphasis on substantive and procedural rights that for good reason rest at the core of American criminal law. The Essay begins by discussing an array of criticisms that scholars and practitioners have launched against the innocence movement. Professor Medwed then ar-gues that although these criticisms have some validity, they fall short in justifying the rejection of actual innocence as a major focal point of the criminal justice discourse in the twenty-first century. The author ulti-mately concludes that innocentrism should have a significant place in this discourse, and it can do so in concert with other time-tested criminal law values.