According to an article recently published in the New York Times, the number of exonerations in the United States reached an all-time high in 2015. Last year, 149 people who had been falsely convicted of crimes were exonerated, with nearly four out of every ten people being exonerated of murder.
Reports from the National Registry of Exonerations, a project of the University of Michigan's law school, indicate that the exonerated inmates spent an average of 14 years in prison prior to having their convictions overturned. Exonerations have more than doubled since 2011, with a total of 1,733 overturned convictions being recorded since the registry began in 1989.
What Do These Numbers Mean?
This data provides a startling look at our nation's current criminal justice system and show just how frequently accused persons are being wrongfully convicted. Samuel R. Gross, a professor at the University of Michigan, commented on the findings, saying that “the problems that are causing convictions of innocent people happen on a regular basis.” In fact, the most common reason why inmates were exonerated was that no crime had occurred in the first place. The second most common reason behind the exonerations was official misconduct.
These numbers further hammer home the importance of hiring the right criminal attorney to handle one's case. A powerful criminal defense attorney can greatly improve a person's chances of avoiding a wrongful conviction altogether and craft a legal strategy that dismantles the opposition's claims. Upon a detailed examination of a person's situation, a trial-tested attorney can identify these instances of official misconduct and help prevent a person from being wrongfully imprisoned.
Contact Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated
If you are facing criminal charges in Modesto, Stockton, Turlock, or the surrounding areas, it is urgent you contact an aggressive criminal defense lawyer from Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated to protect your future. Having represented more than 4,000 cases, we are equipped with the vast legal arsenal you need to get through this difficult time with your dignity and freedom intact.
Call (209) 529-7406 or contact our office online today to discuss your legal options.