The Facts About Wrongful Conviction
As of July 10, 2013, there have been 310 post-conviction DNA Exonerations in the United States.
- The first person to be exonerated from Death Row by post-conviction DNA testing was Kirk Bloodsworth in 1989.
- 18 of the 310 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. Another 16 were charged with capital crimes but not sentenced to death..
- The average sentence served by DNA exonerees has been 13 years. The total number of years served is approximately 3,944.
- About 70 percent of those exonerated by DNA testing are members of minority groups.
- In almost 40 percent of DNA exoneration cases, the actual perpetrator has been identified by DNA testing.
- Exonerations have been won in 35 states and Washington, D.C.
- The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989; since 2000, there have been 230 exonerations.
- The average age of exonerees at the time of their wrongful convictions was 27.
- The true suspects and/or perpetrators have been identified in 146 of the DNA exoneration cases.
- Wrongful Convictions PREVENTED: 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.
- 60 percent of the people exonerated through DNA testing have been financially compensated.
- 27 states, the federal government, and the District of Columbia have passed laws to compensate people who were wrongfully incarcerated.
- An Innocence Project review of closed cases from 2004 - 2010 revealed that 22 percent of cases were closed because of lost or destroyed evidence