Exonerations Database Targets the False-Conviction Process


In an article about the National Registry of Exonerations, the Tulsa World notes that 23 Oklahomans have been cleared of crimes in the past 25 years that together had already cost them about 200 years in prison. Nationwide, courts have determined that 1,250 people ? who together had already spent roughly 12,000 years in prison ?were wrongfully convicted, and there are likely many more wrongfully convicted inmates not yet document.

Gathering details on cases where the accused were eventually exonerated can help reform the justice system, experts say. The National Registry of Exonerations is a publicly available database that includes exonerees’ demographic information, types of crimes they were charged with, and factors that led to their exonerations. It has two goals, said Samuel Gross, the registry’s co-founder and editor: to make the criminal justice system more willing to consider new evidence and to learn about the processes that contribute to a false conviction in the first place.

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