The National Registry of Exonerations Releases Grim, Eye-Opening Report — Wrongful Convictions Blog

This month our nation exceeded 25,000 years lost to wrongful convictions. The human suffering associated with the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of 2,795 innocent people is incalculable. Without the research and reporting of the National Registry of Exonerations (NRE), we likely would not know of or comprehend the truth or implications of this horrific milestone.

The report, “25,000 Years Lost to Wrongful Convictions” released today quantifies the reality of a justice system making its most egregious error: convicting an innocent person. The NRE defines an exoneree as a “person who was convicted of a crime and later officially declared innocent of that crime, or relieved of all legal consequences of the conviction because evidence of innocence that was not presented at trial required reconsideration of the case.”

The NRE has focused on exonerations since 1989. Here are a few highlights from the report:

• On average, each exoneree spent more than 8 years and 11 months in prison before release. Black exonerees spent 10.4 years in prison on average, whereas white exonerees spent an average of 7.5 years. Averages alone do not immediately reveal, for example, that 183 people spent 25 years or more in prison before they were exonerated of crimes they did not commit.

• Innocent Black defendants served a majority of the prison time, 14,525 of the 25,004 years at the writing of the report.


The National Registry of Exonerations Releases Grim, Eye-Opening Report — Wrongful Convictions Blog

Posted on 06/15/2021, in Cases, civil rights, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News and commented:
    This is way beyond a few slipping through cracks – it shows up our shameful attitudes based on race and being poor.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Ned,
      Thanks for the reblog, dear friend. Yes — much more than a few slipping through the cracks. It’s a pattern. What is also horrible are those who never go to trial because a public defender negotiates a plea deal.What many defendants don’t know is that having a felony conviction can prevent them from getting employment, in addition to going into certain careers. They take plea deals thinking they can go on with their lives, not realizing it puts them behind another type of bars.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    I have long been against the death penalty and executions for a number of reasons, the foremost being that we have a dark history of wrongful convictions, sending innocent people to prison for crimes they did not commit. The National Registry of Exonerations recently released a report with some eye-opening statistics about wrongful convictions in the U.S. and blogging friend Xena has the scoop. It should be noted that while Blacks have always been a minority in the overall population, they have been the majority when it comes to wrongful convictions. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Thank you, Xena, for bringing this report to our attention. We, as a nation, really must try to do better!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is so startling seeing all the statistics. My heart goes out to those who were wrongfully convicted.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for sharing this information, Xena.
    Is there any ngo/non-profit working up a comprehensive plan for dealing with this, from the criminal justice/legal changes and systemic racism points of view (holistically, that is) together?

    Liked by 6 people

    • Wrongful Convictions is very active in those issues. They wrote the post that I reblogged. It came across differently without the reblog link at the top. That might be due to my changing from block editor to classic editor in order to meta tag it. Since Word Press made that change, it’s really discouraged me from blogging.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, I saw that, but they look like a reaction group, rather than putting together a more comprehensive plan that could encompass both sets of issues in a long-term preventative sort of way, as I’m writing up on my Wondering Wednesday posts. I’m hoping to connect with others doing such holistic work so that we can solve these problems at the root, over the next few generations.

        And yes, the new block editor is difficult to use. I sometimes find that saving a draft or scheduling it and then editing it throws me back into the classic editor, for some reason, or maybe it’s that I often use the Code Editor to edit the html directly.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharing this post on the Educational Collaborative blog Round Robin.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Reblogged this on the Round Robin,

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Shira. I’m happy you did so I could find that blog. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Shira. I’m happy you did so I could find that blog. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • My pleasure: just working on a new tool to help us all share each others posts, as we go around the Round Robin. I’m still waiting for someone to share my 4 Inexpensive Ideas learning post, in particular, which is the second most recent, after yours. Thus far, take-up on the Round Robin has been slower than I’d hoped. I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong, as no originating blogger (I’ve had shares by re-post bloggers) seems to want to share any of my posts.
        Advice, when you have more time and energy (not right away, no worries)?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Shire,
          I’ll DM you on Twitter. Maybe we should share via email. I’m no expert, but can share some tips I learned from Word Press when I first opened this blog in 2012.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Thank you, Xena: I’m not on my Twitter too often, as most of my time is spent writing (for the book I’m posting about on Wondering Wednesdays).

            All tips appreciated!


            Liked by 1 person

  7. There, but for the grace of god§, go I….

    § I’m an atheist, but don’t quibble.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The new covenant is God writing his laws in man’s hearts and minds. Sounds like you are doing fine when considering “if not but for the grace …” Some folks never think that way. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. In Canada, change the colour from Black to Red. But not just for wrongful convictions, but even for all convictions. The dearly beloved ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE get indigenous people convicted way more than white people, considering that Red people are such a tiny percentage of our population, and considering how the spirit of Red people was utterly destoyed by the residential school system that lasted for over a hundred years.
    I don’t know that Canada has any group like the NRE looking at wrongful convictions, but people of colour are certainly arrested quicker and imprisoned faster than white people. The numbers tell a very sad story. Racism exists in our judicial system, and nobody seems to care, except those of colour.

    Liked by 2 people

  1. Pingback: Xena Round Robin : The National Registry of Exonerations Releases Grim, Eye-Opening Report — Wrongful Convictions Blog – Educating for Future Democracy Collaborative

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