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Gross, Samuel R.

Thomas and Mabel Long Professor of Law

965 Legal Research

Samuel R. Gross, the Thomas and Mabel Long Professor of Law, graduated from Columbia College in 1968 and earned a JD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1973. He was a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco for several years and worked as an attorney with the United Farm Workers Union in California and the Wounded Knee Legal Defense Committee in Nebraska and South Dakota. As a cooperating attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. in New York and the National Jury Project in Oakland, California, he litigated a series of test cases on jury selection in capital trials and worked on the issue of racial discrimination in the use of the death penalty. He was a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School and came to Michigan Law from the Stanford Law School faculty. Professor Gross teaches evidence, criminal procedure, and courses on wrongful criminal convictions. His published work includes articles and books about evidence law, the death penalty, false convictions, racial profiling, eyewitness identification, and the relationship between pretrial bargaining and trial verdicts. Professor Gross is the editor of the National Registry of Exonerations, which was launched in May 2012 and maintains a detailed online database of all known exonerations in the United States since 1989. Recently, in addition to several reports written for the National Registry of Exonerations, Professor Gross coauthored a study, published in 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science​, that estimated that more than 4 percent of defendants sentenced to death in the United States since 1973 were innocent.

For some of the media coverage of the National Registry of Exonerations, see:

Huffington Post


Associated Press


Recent Publications

More Publications...

"What We Think, What We Know and What We Think We Know about False Convictions." Ohio J. of Crim. L 14, no. 2 (2017): 753-86.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

Senior editor. "Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States." The National Registry of Exonerations, (2017).
Full Text: MLaw Repository | WWW

Recently Taught Courses


Participated in an Innocence Scholarship Session at the 2015 Innocence Network Conference, Orlando, Florida, May 2015. ​

Presented "What We Know and What We Think We Know About False Criminal Convictions" at the 26th annual Walter C. Reckless-Simon Dinitz Memorial Lecture presented by Ohio State University's Criminal Justice Research Center, April 2015. ​

Presented "Wrongful Convictions in the U.S.: Lessons From the National Registry of Exonerations, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, September 2014.​