Explore the Numbers: Innocence Project's Impact

DNA has played a crucial role in proving innocence and solving crimes

In 1992, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld realized that if DNA technology could prove people guilty of crimes, it could also prove that people who had been wrongfully convicted were innocent. So they started the Innocence Project as a legal clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Since then, DNA testing and analysis has become vital to exonerating innocent people and driving criminal justice reform. Decades of data on DNA-related and non-DNA exonerations expose systemic vulnerabilities. The Innocence Project fights to redress these systemic issues through strategic litigation, policy reform, and education. This page explores a sample of the demographics of our exonerated clients, as well as the factors that contributed to their wrongful convictions.

Wrongful convictions are life-altering experiences with lifelong consequences

Correcting wrongful convictions impacts communities

Innocence Project cases reflect the disproportionate impact of wrongful convictions on Black people in the U.S.

Exonerations teach us about the most common causes of wrongful conviction

Lessons from Innocence Project DNA cases

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Read more about DNA’s revolutionary role in freeing the innocent

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