News 06.21.11

Sun Times: DNA and the High Cost of Wrongful Convictions

An editorial in today’s Chicago Sun-Times calls on law enforcement agencies, elected officials and the public to remain vigilant about avoiding wrongful convictions at all costs. And when there’s a chance that an injustice has occurred, we have the duty to right the wrong, the editors argue:

The importance of getting these cases right goes beyond assuring justice for suspects who might — or might not — have been wrongfully convicted. In a report released Monday, the Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University concluded that wrongful convictions in 85 Illinois cases since 1989 have cost taxpayers $214 million.

The report, entitled “A Tale of Lives Lost, Tax Dollars Wasted and Justice Denied,” discusses the high costs of wrongful convictions in Illinois. It chronicles the results obtained from the joint investigation into wrongful convictions conducted by the Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions.

The seven-month study tracked exonerations from 1989 through 2010 and revealed that almost all of the wrongful convictions were caused by multiple factors.

Read the full study


Read the editorial


(Graphic above via the Illinois Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions)

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