Marvin Zalman

Professor of Criminal Justice, Wayne State University

Areas of Expertise

  • Wrongful conviction
  • Constitutional criminal procedure
  • Law
  • Courts

Key Findings

  • Some issues not addressed by the innocence paradigm need to be considered to better understand and deal with wrongful convictions. MORE
  • Police investigation should be incorporated into the correlates of wrongful conviction that should be considered by innocence advocates and scholars. MORE
  • Reasons for investigative failures that may lead to wrongful convictions include issues of funding, workloads, professional status, accountability structures and cultures of police investigators and their departments. MORE
  • Video recording police interrogations alone will not change current police interrogation behavior. MORE
  • Video recording police interrogations is a necessary, but not a sufficient, reform to reduce false confessions and wrongful convictions. MORE
  • Video recording police interrogations makes it easier to identify coercive interrogation practices, but they do not guarantee that coercion will be recognized. MORE
  • The standard list of wrongful conviction causes does not capture all the ways that justice can miscarry; trial processes may have generated or allowed wrongful convictions. MORE
  • Contrary to common stereotype, criminal procedure strictly enforces defendants’ rights. MORE
  • The new generation of trial reform thinking diverges from past efforts because of a new awareness that convicting the innocent is an everyday reality in our courts. MORE


Marvin Zalman, Professor of Criminal Justice at Wayne State University, is an expert in wrongful conviction, constitutional criminal procedure and courts.

Zalman served as a professor at Michigan State University and a law lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria Nigeria. He also served as the executive director of the New York Committee on Sentencing Guidelines and on the Sentencing Guidelines Development Committee for the Michigan Supreme Court. He currently serves as a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Society of Criminology. He received an award from the State University of New York at Albany.

Zalman has published dozens of chapters and articles in scholarly journals such as Crime and Delinquency, Justice Quarterly and the Journal of Criminal Justice Education.

He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany, J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and B.A. in history from Cornell University.