The National Registry of Exonerations Releases Grim, Eye-Opening Report — Wrongful Convictions Blog

I have long been against the death penalty and executions for a number of reasons, the foremost being that we have a dark history of wrongful convictions, sending innocent people to prison for crimes they did not commit. The National Registry of Exonerations recently released a report with some eye-opening statistics about wrongful convictions in the U.S. and blogging friend Xena has the scoop. It should be noted that while Blacks have always been a minority in the overall population, they have been the majority when it comes to wrongful convictions. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Thank you, Xena, for bringing this report to our attention. We, as a nation, really must try to do better!

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

This month our nation exceeded 25,000 years lost to wrongful convictions. The human suffering associated with the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of 2,795 innocent people is incalculable. Without the research and reporting of the National Registry of Exonerations (NRE), we likely would not know of or comprehend the truth or implications of this horrific milestone.

The report, “25,000 Years Lost to Wrongful Convictions” released today quantifies the reality of a justice system making its most egregious error: convicting an innocent person. The NRE defines an exoneree as a “person who was convicted of a crime and later officially declared innocent of that crime, or relieved of all legal consequences of the conviction because evidence of innocence that was not presented at trial required reconsideration of the case.”

The NRE has focused on exonerations since 1989. Here are a few highlights from the report:

• On average, each exoneree spent…

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7 thoughts on “The National Registry of Exonerations Releases Grim, Eye-Opening Report — Wrongful Convictions Blog

  1. Clicking on through, past your reblog-of-a-reblog to the actual article, three things leapt out at me:

    • Innocent Black defendants served a majority [58%] of the prison time, 14,525 of the 25,004 years at the writing of the report.
    • Governments have paid more than $2.9 billion in compensation, and yet more than half of the exonerated have received nothing.
    […]
    The number of years lost to wrongful convictions is staggering but, in fact, an understatement. The report stresses that this calculation refers to only those exonerations we know about. ”The vast majority of false convictions go uncorrected and therefore are never counted.”

    Utterly appalling. And we have the audacity to call ourselves ‘civilized’.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is appalling and … enraging! This is still every bit as much a racist nation as it was during the Jim Crow era. Civilized? Hardly. And add to the racism, the gun culture in the U.S. … I don’t even think of myself as being a citizen of this nation anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I could say that I am shocked by this. But I’m not. I have seen it happen too often. The Rolando Cruz case (you can google that) was an example in the Chicago area, and it seemed obvious from the start that this was a miscarriage of justice.

    Our criminal justice system is badly broken. It is oriented toward conviction, when it should instead be oriented toward determining the truth. It is too easy for the police to pick on some person with poor social support, and attempt to pin a crime on that person.

    Liked by 3 people

    • During my post-graduate work, I took an online course by The Innocence Project and saw how often mistakes are made, or worse yet, witnesses bear false testimony, are coerced, and more. Yes, our system is badly broken … when you consider the case of the Central Park Five and so many others, you have to ask yourself “How could this happen???” We need reform from the beat cop to the highest court in the land.

      Liked by 3 people

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