Just a few short years ago, news of a wrongfully convicted person being exonerated of his or her crime was a major event. However, such exonerations are now quite common in the U.S., averaging roughly three a week.
In fact, according to a recent report by the National Registry of Exoneration – a University of Michigan Law School project – there were more people exonerated of false convictions in 2015 than any other year.
Details of the report
Specifically, after spending an average of 14 years in prison, the convictions of 149 individuals were overturned in 2015. This was a 7 percent increase from 2014 and more than double the number of exonerations in 2011.
One of the most common criminal convictions linked to last year’s exoneration total was drug possession offenses. In fact, of the 149 exonerations last year, 47 involved drug possession, which represents nearly one-third of all exonerations.
The particular report also outlined many of the alarming issues that may have contributed to the underlying wrongful convictions, including:
- False confessions
- Official and police misconduct
- Convictions based on guilty pleas
- Convictions when no actual crime occurred
Unfortunately, while we trust the criminal justice system to get things right, it often makes mistakes – mistakes that can result in you going to jail for a very long time for something you didn’t do.
If you are facing unfounded criminal charges, it is important to fight back. Contact an experienced legal professional for help today.