There have been 25 official exonerations nationwide in the first quarter of 2014.  If the pace continues (it will result in 100 exonerations for the year), 2014 will break 2013’s record number of exonerations.  5 exonerations took place in New York, more than any other state so far this year, the following states had at least 1:  Michigan, Maryland, Louisiana, Illinois, Texas, Hawaii, California, District of Columba, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, and Virginia.

Eleven cases were murder cases, two were attempted murder cases, and two were rape cases.  Nine cases were no crime cases (cases where an accident or natural causes were mistook for murder).  In 2013, about 30% of all exonerations were for cases where no crime actually occurred.  Six exonerations involved convictions for non-violent crimes (i.e. perjury, theft, drugs, etc.).  On average, the exonerates spent 12 years in prison before being exonerated.  In DNA cases, that time is nearly double, at about 23 years.

The 2013 Exoneration Report from the National Registry of Exonerations showed a record 87 exonerations in 2013.  2014 continued many of the trends, including 44% of the exonerations so far were with the cooperation of law enforcement and 20% were without the aid of DNA evidence.

[Note:  The majority of cases do not have DNA evidence, it is estimated that DNA evidence is only present in at maximum 10% of all cases.  These statistics on exonerations do not necessarily include people whose charges are dismissed before retrial or who are acquitted at trial.  States with the most exonerations are not necessarily the states who have the most wrongful convictions.]

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