Some interesting stats on the US Justice System

Nov 6, 2014, 12:38 PM |

There have been 321 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.

• The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 38 states; since 2000, there have been 254 exonerations.

• 20 of the 321 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. Another 16 were charged with capital crimes but not sentenced to death.

• The average length of time served by exonerees is 13.5 years. The total number of years served is approximately 4,337.

• The average age of exonerees at the time of their wrongful convictions was 27.

Races of the 321 exonerees:

202 African Americans
95 Caucasians
22 Latinos
2 Asian American

• The true suspects and/or perpetrators have been identified in 158 of the DNA exoneration cases.

• Since 1989, there have been tens of thousands of cases where prime suspects were identified and pursued—until DNA testing (prior to conviction) proved that they were wrongly accused.

• In more than 25 percent of cases in a National Institute of Justice study, suspects were excluded once DNA testing was conducted during the criminal investigation (the study, conducted in 1995, included 10,060 cases where testing was performed by FBI labs).

• 65 percent of the people exonerated through DNA testing have been financially compensated. 29 states, the federal government, and the District of Columbia have passed laws to compensate people who were wrongfully incarcerated. Awards under these statutes vary from state to state.

• 31 of the DNA exonerees pled guilty to crimes they did not commit.