Innocence Network Organizations Secured 29 Exonerations in 2010
New report details this year’s wrongful convictions across 14 states, two countries
(NEW YORK, NY; Monday, December 20, 2010) – A report released today by the Innocence Network reveals that there have been 29 exonerations in North America in the past year, including 3 instances where the wrongfully convicted served more than 3 decades behind bars before being exonerated.
The report, “Innocence Network Exonerations 2010,” provides information about each of this year’s 29 exonerations in 14 states and two countries. 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.
“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.”
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. The 29 people profiled in this year’s report served more than 426 combined years in prison before they were finally freed. Each case represents countless hours and sometimes years of ardent advocacy by attorneys, paralegals, investigators and students that comprise the Innocence Network.
In addition to helping overturn wrongful convictions, Innocence Network organizations increasingly work to bring substantive reform to the criminal justice system. Last year, Network member organizations helped to pass critical reform legislation in statehouses throughout the country.
The Innocence Network increased substantially in 2010, becoming a global movement. There are now 63 member organizations, with 54 members in the US and 9 chapters in other countries. Each organization operates independently but they coordinate to share information and expertise.
Innocence Network members range from successful clinics that have operated for many years at some of the most respected universities to full-fledged nonprofit organizations with a solid staff and base of funding to small clinics at law schools that are still setting up a process to review cases. Learn more about the Innocence Network and find an organization near you.
Download the full report. (PDF)
Contact: Alana Salzberg; 212-364-5983; ASalzberg@innocenceproject.org