The United States makes up only 5% of the world's population, yet we incarcerate 25% of the world's prison population. Does this mean that every person is in fact guilty?
The National Registry of Exonerations updated their findings in March 2015, https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/learnmore.aspx. The total number of 1555 Exonerees collectively served 14,429 years. More than 46% were due to government misconduct, and was highest in homicide cases (60%) and child sex abuse cases (44%).
How does this happen?
For every person who is found guilty by a judge or jury trial, 9 people will take a plea agreement to avoid a harsher sentence. No one knows how many are in fact innocent of the crime for which they will spend precious years of their lives in prison. A recent study conducted by the University of Michigan Law School estimates around 4.1% of death row inmates are innocent.
“The great majority of innocent people who are sentenced to death are never identified and freed," said Samuel Gross, lead author of the study and a University of Michigan Law School professor, in a statement. "The purpose of our study is to account for the innocent defendants who are not exonerated."
If we were to project the study out to the total 2.3 million prison population, more than 90,000 people could be in fact innocent.
2014 was a record year for releasing the wrongfully convicted according to the Exoneration Report from the University of Michigan with 125 exonerations, one of which was our client, Jonathan Fleming, on April 8, 2014 in Brooklyn, NY.
A wrongful conviction case starts with a post-conviction investigation whether or not there DNA evidence is available. In fact 75% of exonerations occur without reliable DNA evidence. What remains consistent when examining the successful cases is they are the direct result of the determined investigators and attorneys who will fight for their freedom.
Management Resources is responding to a record number of inquiries from those who are wrongfully incarcerated and reviewing several cases to assess if there is evidence to investigate further.