In most exonerations, the wrong person was convicted for a crime that occurred, but in a rapidly growing minority, the defendant was convicted for a crime that never happened. These are known as No-Crime cases. According to a recent study, they account for 22% of known exonerations. The largest numbers are sex abuse cases, followed by homicides.
Currently, we know of more wrongful convictions then we ever have, but there are still many we do not know about. The statistics are striking. In 2005, only 4% of all exonerations were no crime cases, 7 years later, they accounted for 15%, and today, they account for 22%. In general, no-crime exonerations suffer from the same issue as non-DNA exonerations, less attention. The cases that do get minute coverage by media organizations are for cases where the real perpetrator got away.
Examples of no crime cases include the second trial acquittal of Sheila Bryan, who spent two years in prison. Her conviction was overturned because of improperly admitted evidence; Medell Banks, who spent two years in prison. His conviction was overturned because of false testimony; or Kristine Bunch, who spent 17 years in prison. Her conviction was overturned because of misleading forensics and government misconduct.