A report released today by the Innocence Network delves into the cases of the 29 people exonerated this year through the work of the network’s 63 member organizations. The 29 exonerees from 14 states and two countries served a total of 426 years behind bars.
“These exonerations tell so much about the problems with the criminal justice system,” said Keith Findley, President of the Innocence Network. “By compiling this information, we hope that our political leaders will take note and put reforms in place that make identification procedures more reliable, place stricter controls on what passes as forensic science and put checks on the enormous power that police and prosecutors wield and improve public defender systems.”
Misidentification and unvalidated forensics played a significant role in many of the exonerations, but this year also saw a surprising number of cases where police and prosecutorial misconduct were in large part to blame for the wrongful conviction.
This is the second year that the Innocence Network compiled a report of the year’s exonerations. The number of exonerations increased from 27 in 2009 to 29 this year.
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