Dr. Robert Norris

Dr. Robert J. Norris joined the Department of Government and Justice Studies in 2015. He earned his B.A. in sociology with a history minor at UNC-Greensboro, and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the School of Criminal Justice at the University at Albany (SUNY). His research and teaching areas include law and society, social change and policy reform, the legal system, and decision-making in criminal justice. Much of his research focuses specifically on wrongful convictions. Dr. Norris is the author of Exonerated: A History of the Innocence Movement (NYU Press, 2017) and co-editor of Examining Wrongful Convictions: Stepping Back, Moving Forward (Carolina Academic Press, 2014). He is also working on a new co-authored book expected to be released in 2018 entitled: When Justice Fails: Causes and Consequences of Wrongful Convictions (Carolina Academic Press). He was the co-PI on a grant funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Justice to organize a workshop on under-studied issues related to wrongful convictions. Other recent research interests include criminal admissions (interrogations, confessions, and plea bargaining), the death penalty, and laws targeting the homeless. His research has appeared in several scholarly journals, including Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Journal of Experimental Criminology, Criminal Justice Policy Review, and the Albany Law Review. Since joining Appalachian State, Dr. Norris has taught courses on the court system, criminal procedure, and wrongful convictions.

Areas of Expertise and Interest:

  • Social movements and policy reform
  • Legal process and decision-making
  • Wrongful convictions
  • Interrogations, confessions, and plea bargaining


  • Ph.D. (2015), School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY)
  • M.A. (2011), School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY)
  • B.A. (2009), Sociology (History minor), UNC-Greensboro


  • The Court System (formerly Judicial Process)
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Innocence in the Criminal Justice System
  • Punishment and Corrections (Graduate)


Title: Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Department: Department of Government and Justice Studies

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-6908

Fax: (828) 262-2947

Office address
351D Anne Belk Hall


Norris CVdocument65.5 KB