2013 Was a Banner Year for Letting Innocent People Out of Jail

Unfortunately it takes 10 years to play the card.Eighty-seven — It seems like
such a small number compared to the more than two million adults
currently incarcerated in the United States. Eighty-seven is the
number of people exonerated and freed from prison in 2013, and that
tiny number is a record high.

The National Registry of Exonerations put out its
(pdf) for 2013 today with these new figures. A couple of
interesting details to note:

  • The number of people being freed from prison due to DNA
    evidence is dropping. Only 18 were freed in 2013 due to innocence
    determined by DNA evidence.
  • A record number of the exonerations – 15 – were of prisoners
    who had pleaded guilty. The registry reports the number continues
    to climb.
  • The number of exonerations that involve non-violent crimes is
    also increasing, though the majority of cases involved murder or
    sexual assault. One exoneration in 2013 was of a person on death
  • More than a third of the exonerations were obtained with the
    cooperation of law enforcement. The registry notes, “[P]olice and
    prosecutors appear to be taking increasingly active roles in
    reinvestigating possible false convictions, and to be more
    responsive to claims of innocence from convicted defendants.”

That small number of 87 may also end up growing. The registry
isn’t always made immediately aware of every exoneration. They
added 234 exoneration cases to the registry during 2013, many from
previous years.

The report also calculates some averages based on all the
exonerations they’ve reported since 1989 (1,281 exonerations). As a
group, these prisoners (mostly men) spent 12,500 years in jail, an
average of 10 years for each improperly convicted prisoner.

from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/1c0Rpk3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.