Friday Roundup: Learning from DNA Exonerations


As we begin work to overturn wrongful convictions and reform the criminal justice system in 2010, it’s critical that we learn from the exonerations of 2009. When a wrongful conviction is overturned , we can see exactly how the system failed and work to prevent the same injustice from happening again.

This week on the Innocence Blog, we reported on cases from developments from

New Jersey



. Here are a few stories we didn’t get to during the week:

A Buffalo News editorial this week

looked at the recent Innocence Network year-end report and wondered how many more innocent people remain behind bars. “How much longer will it take,” the newspaper’s editors asked. “How many more innocent people must die waiting their turn for justice, before our government installs as routine the kind of safeguards these consciences-at-large are urging upon us?”

Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck visited the Colbert Report on Thursday night

, and reminded Innocence Project Artists’ Committee member Stephen Colbert that he shouldn’t assume every conviction is clear cut because we now have DNA testing: 90% of criminal cases don’t involve biological evidence.

An article in January’s issue of Scientific American investigates eyewitness identification procedures and finds identifications in criminal cases

“shockingly inaccurate.”

Conway Tutani

writes in Zimbabwe’s Herald newspaper

that Zimbabwe likely has a higher rate of wrongful convictions than many other countries, and even fewer avenues to address injustice. was featured on radio around the world as

Voice of America’s Website of the Week

. And we’re nominated for a Shorty Award for the best twitter in the nonprofit category.

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