Police, prosecutors lead exonerations
ST. LOUIS — A nationwide push by prosecutors and police to re-examine possible wrongful convictions contributed to a record number of exonerations in 2013, according to a report released on Tuesday.
The National Registry of Exonerations says 87 people falsely convicted of crimes were exonerated last year, four more than in 2009, the year with the next highest total. The joint effort by the Northwestern University and University of Michigan law schools has documented more than 1,300 such cases in the United States since 1989 while also identifying another 1,100 “group exonerations” involving widespread police misconduct, primarily related to planted drug and gun evidence.
The new report shows that nearly 40 percent of exonerations recorded in 2013 were either initiated by law enforcement or included police and prosecutors' cooperation. One year earlier, nearly half of the exonerations involved such reviews.
“Police and prosecutors have become more attentive and concerned about the danger of false conviction,” said registry editor Samuel Gross, a Michigan law professor. “We are working harder to identify the mistakes we made years ago, and we are catching more of them.”
Texas topped the state-by-state breakdown with 13 exonerations in 2013, followed by Illinois, New York, Washington, California, Michigan and Missouri.
District attorneys in the counties containing Dallas, Chicago, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Santa Clara, Calif., are among those to recently create “conviction integrity” units.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- U.S. Customs loses track of 6K students who overstayed visas
- Maryland doctor will give up license
- Eco-friendly focus offered preschoolers
- Closer seats don’t sit well with some fliers
- Feds cleared of some abuse claims by illegals
- Double mastectomies don’t boost chances
- Teens bust out of Tenn. detention center
- City makes case as bankruptcy trial begins for Detroit
- Appeals court hears debate in NSA phone record collection case
- $1.4B penalty urged in gas blast
- Judge frees 2 N.C. men convicted in 1983 rape, killing