Innocent people freed after spending years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.
Thanks to a non profit legal clinic founded in 1992 innocent people in prisons all over the United States have been exonerated. The Innocence Project handles only cases where post convection DNA testing can show conclusive proof of innocence. The Innocence Project has now expanded into the Innocence Network. It has become a growing nationwide group of law schools, journalism schools and Public Defenders offices. They have helped to exonerate more than 160 people. DNA testing could free 1000″s of innocent people.
The former governor of Illinois put a moratorium on the death penalty after 13 death row inmates were cleared of murder charges through DNA testing. A total of 68 death row inmates through out the United States have missed the jaws of execution thanks to DNA testing. How many people have already been executed for a crime they didn’t commit?
Improved forensic science and DNA evidence have reversed numerous convictions for people that have been incarcerated for years, some were charged and incarcerated do to testimony given by witnesses that was later found out to be mistaken identity, mistaken identities have led to wrongful murder convictions. The average sentence served by an innocent person before being released is 12 years, though a few have served more than that.
What happens to the innocent men and woman that were put behind bars for years for something they didn’t do? What do they do once they are released?
Guilty people leave prison with support from many re-entry programs like parole systems and halfway houses. Yet the exonerated folks receive little or no help at all from the system upon reentry to society. There is no funding to help them. Once released they find that much has changed in the outside world, even though they were exonerated for never committing the crime, after release many still are unable to get back to a normal life style. Many have a hard time finding jobs, living in society after being in prison for so long, many have lost their family and friends.
Below are a list of 30 States that have already exonerated innocent people, as well as how many people were exonerated in each state.
Connecticut, Washington DC, Utah, Idaho, Minnesota, Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina are states that have exonerated one innocent person in each of these States. Arizona, Mississippi, Kansas and Alabama have each released two innocent people. Maryland, Montana, Wisconsin and Michigan 3 each. 5 were released in New Jersey. 6 in West Virginia and North Carolina. Georgia, Ohio and Missouri each released 7 innocent people each. 9 were released from Massachusetts, California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Florida. 10 in Virginia and Louisiana. The States with the most innocent people that have been realised are New York with 23, Illinois with 29 and the highest State is Texas with 35 people being set free. This is a total of 217 people that have set behind bars for many years for a crime they never committed. How many more are still there waiting to be proven innocent?
Society as a whole needs to stand up and say enough is enough. Things have to change! Innocent people should not be in prisons for years before their innocence is proven! Innocent people should never be put to death. You can not bring them back after it is discovered that they were innocent! Death is death! As we all know death is final! We need to be sure that innocent people are not sitting in prison and DNA testing is the best way to do this.