Number of People Falsely Accused of Crimes Will Blow Your Mind

ExoneratedLying is the number one cause of wrongful convictions. Lying to the police, lying to the prosecutor, lying on the stand during a trial. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, a joint project of the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, perjury and false accusation have been the real culprits behind unwarranted imprisonment. Now more than 2,000 inmates have been exonerated, including 101 accused individuals who had been sentenced to death.

And that right there is just one reason why I don’t support the death penalty. If it were not for the diligence of these truth-seekers, the 101 inmates on death row would’ve had their punishments carried out and there ain’t no fixing or coming back from that kind of finality. The chance that someone could die as punishment for a crime they didn’t commit is absolutely the biggest insult to the concept of justice.

It’s downright scary because someone could lob an accusation—against you, against me, against anyone in our families—and if so-called evidence lines up just so and investigations go awry, it can translate to spending years, even a lifetime in the slammer. Especially when you fold those age-old exacerbaters like race, poverty, and social marginalization into the mix. Heaven help you if you have the misfortune of being on the wrong side of all of those factors. You’re sure to face certain doom in the justice system if the chips are already stacked against you.

Behold, some stats: 

• African-Americans make up 50 percent of the individuals in the National Registry of Exonerations database. Whites folks comprise 38 percent, Latinos total 11 percent, and Native Americans and Asians account for 2 percent. Men make up 93 percent of the exonerated defendants.

• The most common crime on the list is murder (48 percent), followed by sexual assault (35 percent). After that, the numbers are smaller (though no less damning in some cases, I’m sure): robberies (5 percent) and combined drug, white collar, and non-violent crimes (7 percent).

Many of these collected tales of wrongful conviction involved tainted evidence, shotty police work, and mistaken eyewitness identification. It’s just a sampling of the debacles that send innocent people to prison. Still, those issues are rarely acknowledged, let alone voluntarily acted upon. In an effort to save face and avoid messy public confessions—and potshots to law enforcement’s credibility—it’s not uncommon for new evidence to crop up and be scuttled back under a far-flung rock, even if it means the life of an innocent person hangs in the balance.

The masterminds behind the registry say cops are right most of the time, but most of the time is not all of the time. And it’s that margin of human error that wreaks havoc on the lives of falsely imprisoned folks. Thank heavens for this registry and DNA and forensic testing, that’s all I can say. I’m sure we’d all say it if we were on the wrong end of a crime accusation, as a matter of fact. 

It's impossible to put a price tag on or make up for all of the time lost during a false imprisonment, not to mention the stress, harassment, abuse (the level depending on the inmate population and institution), psychological, emotional, and mental scarring, and the struggle of readjusting to life outside, including finding a job. But what kind of assistance or compensation should the government give to people who served time in prison for crimes they didn't commit? 

Image via .v1ctor.

crime, death penalty, in the news, law


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Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

This coming from a social media outlet that persecutes people before a fair and impartial trial??? Wow, love how you left out the media's role in this. People like you write "articles" basically condemning people to the chair before an investigation can be completed on a regular basis.

ryder... rydermama

It's "shoddy" police work, not "shotty". Geez.

nonmember avatar Daloss Kouny

Raymond Glutsch, of Michigan prisoner 213459 prime example. We all knew something was wrong. What do we know a year into knowing him a woman who testified against him 21 years after he spent 20 already says to MDOC he's innocent, what does corrupted Michigan do, stick him back in prison a week later yeah, we read his records and it never stated she even called but it quickly stated he's a danger to the public. See you can't trust the ones you pay taxes to anymore, its starting to become no man's land mostly everywhere even America as a whole. We all one or another know someone who's been wrongfully accused and that says that we all have nearly experienced it from every angle. What that said we should not be surprised of this report. Its changed everyday from simplicity to complicated high grade technology to record nearly every event in our lives as we have witnessed not once and not even twice, more. Its the sign of the time.

nonmember avatar judy

I was falsely accused of taking money.from a.former.employer. since it, I FBI. This went on for years until I actually in the.middle.of.all this, my.mother died. I was eventually acquitted, because, at the.time, I could afford a.good attorney. I now think that everyone is just.getting ready to falsely accuse me of something else. It really made me think of all the.people in prison that were falsely accused, and not able to.prove.their innocence. Because it was a federal case, the retainer was.very expensive-let's just.say I could have.gotten a really,really, with the money I spent. I did not take.this money. It ruined my life. It's al

Reali... Reality578

Were you charged and convicted as an adult for a crime when you were under 18?
Were you falsely accused of the crime?
Are you willing to participate in a confidential university professor-led study about your
Your story MAY be featured in a documentary, with your permission.
Click the link below and complete the screening questions to confirm eligibility for the study.

Bonnie Wolfe

If there is an y proof that a DA intentionally allowed an innocent man to go to prison or remain in prison with sufficient proof of innocence that DA should be held accountable and he himself recieve a prison sentence for the wrong doing he placed against the innocent. Maybe they wouldn't be so quick to condem just to get that "win". Maybe they would put all the evidence out on the table and not just what looks good for the prosecution. Maybe if there were penalties for the corruption...............

nonmember avatar Deborah Webb

I feel particularly vulnerable because I have Asperger Syndrome, and always concerned about being framed for a crime because a bigoted jury will see me as guilty even if I have a solid alibi JUST BECAUSE of the kind of disability I have. Also, I am concerned that if I am ever accused of a crime that police will somehow (not from me) find out I have Aspergers and try to use it against me by forcing me to confess to a crime I didn't commit, and when I refuse to confess, will subject me to some kind of physical or psychological torture up to and including rape. The reason I feel this way is because as a person who is sixty years old with Aspergers, I have already been treated very badly by employers and lied about, and have been treated in a very crappy way by bigoted individuals all my life, and have been bullied a lot.

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