Do we even put the right people in prison?
The Innocence Project posted:
There have been 238 post-conviction DNA exonerations in United States history. These stories are becoming more familiar as more innocent people gain their freedom through postconviction testing. They are not proof, however, that our system is righting itself.
The common themes that run through these cases — from global problems like poverty and racial issues to criminal justice issues like eyewitness misidentification, invalid or improper forensic science, overzealous police and prosecutors and inept defense counsel — cannot be ignored and continue to plague our criminal justice system.
* Seventeen people had been sentenced to death before DNA proved their innocence and led to their release.
* In almost 40 percent of the cases profiled here, the actual perpetrator has been identified by DNA testing.
* The average sentence served by DNA exonerees has been 12 years- that’s 2,856 man-years of prison time served by innocent people.
* Exonerations have been won in 33 states and Washington, D.C.
* About 70 percent of those exonerated by DNA testing are members of minority groups.