Some facts about exonerations

| February 13, 2013

873 Total number of exonerations in the U.S.

816 Number who were men

57 ... women

50% Amount who were black

38% ... white

11% ... Latino

2% ... Native American or Asian

87% Amount who were convicted by a jury at trial

10,000 Minimum number of years defendants as a group spent in prison

101 Number of murder exonerees who had been sentenced to death


Sources National Registry of Exonerations, a project of University of Michigan law school and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law


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I am not sure what the point of this article is but would point out to the author and to readers that an exoneration is not the same thing as a determination of "actual innocence". The fact that we do have an occassional exoneration does demonstrate that the system provides convicted offenders with the due process they deserve.In addition, the raw numbers by themselves mean nothing. Careful consideration of the total number of cases and the fact that nonwhite males commit more crimes easily explain why exonerees are more often black males. Even still, the numbers are too small and there are too many other variables to conclude that racism is as much of a factor in our courts as some people would lead us to believe.

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Posted by wayneuber on 02/14/2013 at 9:50 AM
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