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Five Facts About Wrongful Convictions in 2018

Five Facts About Wrongful Convictions in 2018Illinois by far led the nation for having the most defendants who were exonerated of their crimes in 2018, according to the National Registry of Exonerations. Of the 151 exonerations in 2018, 49 of them occurred in Illinois. The next closest states were New York and Texas, each with 16 exonerations. Thirty-one of the Illinois exonerations stemmed from a Chicago Police Department scandal in which officers framed defendants on drug and weapons charges. However, the 18 remaining exonerations would have still lead the nation. Wrongful convictions continue to plague the U.S. justice system, destroying lives in the process. The National Registry of Exonerations’ 2018 report shares several facts about wrongful convictions in the U.S.:

  1. Exonerees Spent an Average of 10.9 Years in Prison: The 151 exonerated defendants in 2018 lost a combined 1,639 years of their lives due to wrongful convictions, which was a record according to the report. Two defendants spent about 45 years in prison.
  2. Two-Thirds of the Exonerations Were for Violent Crimes: Of the 101 exonerations for violent crimes, 68 were for homicide or manslaughter charges. Sexual assault charges accounted for 17 more exonerations. The remaining violent crimes were for charges such as robbery, burglary, assault, attempted murder, arson, and kidnapping.
  3. Most of the Exonerations for Non-Violent Crimes Were for Drug Charges: There were 33 exonerations for drug crimes, such as possession or sale. Many of those drug crime exonerations came from the Chicago Police Department scandal. Other non-violent crime exonerations included gun possession, fraud, and sex offender registration.
  4. A Majority of the Wrongful Convictions Were Due to Official Misconduct: The report attributed 107 of the exonerations to police misconduct, which includes concealing evidence, threatening witnesses, and producing false forensic tests. Mistaken witness identification and false confessions were the other causes of wrongful convictions.
  5. Seventy of the Exonerations Determined No Crime Occurred: You can be exonerated for one crime while still being guilty of another charge. In 2018, 70 of the defendants who were exonerated had not committed any crime, including one defendant who had been sentenced to death.

Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Attorney

There are organizations that dedicate themselves to exonerating defendants for wrongful convictions. However, those organizations focus on high-profile cases, which is why homicide cases were the most common in the exonerations. A Wheaton, Illinois, criminal defense attorney at Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, is your best resource if you believe you have been wrongfully convicted. We can examine the evidence in your case to determine whether there might be cause to overturn your conviction. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-260-9647.

Source:

http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Documents/Exonerations%20in%202018.pdf

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