Record number of exonerations in the USA during 2013

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Kyla Herrmannsen

During 2013, a record number of offenders in the United States of America were exonerated for crimes they did not commit. A database, the National Registry of Exonerations, has revealed that over 2000 people have been exonerated since 1989. In 2013 alone, 87 cases were found where those accused of rape, murder and other charges were exonerated and allowed to walk free. This, compared to the 81 cases of successful exoneration in 2009 – and these statistics are for the USA only, they do not account for the hundreds if not thousands of inmates who are behind bars due to wrongful convictions worldwide.

What these rising statistics show is a definite existence of those who are wrongfully convicted and languishing behind bars for crimes they did not commit. More often than not, justice is delayed and those incarcerated yet innocent are exonerated after years of being convicted and sentenced offenders. Familiar headlines like ‘Antonio Yarbough, Sharrif Wilson Exonerated For Triple Murder After Decades In Prison’ demonstrate this.

Herman Wallace spent four decades in solitary confinement in Angola Prison – he was released and granted a new trial by the order of a judge. But, he died just a week after being released. Just last week, a piece in the New York Times revealed the increasing number of inmates released under conviction challenges in Brooklyn. Two men, convicted of stabbing two women to death were released because new evidence created “substantial reasonable doubt of the defendants’ guilt”.

Read more stories of wrongful conviction here:

Mercy in the Justice System

As 2 Go Free, Brooklyn Conviction Challenges Keep Pouring In

Man freed after 23 years in jail for a crime he didn’t do can thank another exonerated man for freedom

Wrongfully Convicted Man Released After 29 Years In Prison

Wrongfully convicted man released after 10 years in prison

Wrongfully convicted: A look at 5 cases




About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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