The University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law put together the first-ever published Report of the National Registry of Exonerations, showing that more than 2,000 falsely convicted people of serious crimes have been exonerated in the United States in the past 23 years. The new National Registry closely examines 873 exonerations from the year 1989 through March 1, 2012 in close detail, of which nearly half were wrongly convicted of murder. According to the Washington Post, 101 of those were sentenced to death.
In half of the detailed exonerations, 43% of the cases involved mistaken eyewitness identification and 24% of the cases involved false or misleading forensic evidence. Columbus Dispatch reports that 1,170 individuals cleared in “group exonerations” were related to 13 police-corruption scandals across the country.
It took an average of 11 years, from conviction to exoneration, for wrongfully convicted people to be cleared.