Study: 2,000 Convicted, Then Exonerat...

Study: 2,000 Convicted, Then Exonerated in 23 Years

There are 27 comments on the www.time.com story from May 21, 2012, titled Study: 2,000 Convicted, Then Exonerated in 23 Years. In it, www.time.com reports that:

More than 2,000 people who were falsely convicted of serious crimes have been exonerated in the United States in the past 23 years, according to a new archive compiled at two universities.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.time.com.

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Since: May 11

Location hidden

#1 May 21, 2012
The legal system has become an industry over the last 30 years. It's a money maker. As long as that is the case, America will always have the highest incarceration rates in the world.
Buck

Livonia, MI

#2 May 21, 2012
Good to hear the Justice System is correcting its past mistakes. Punish the guilty, free the innocent.
Sheik Yerbouti

Chalfont, PA

#3 May 21, 2012
The prosecutors in these cases should be sentenced to the same amount of time they gave their innocent victims! Many prosecutors have a win at all cost attitude and think nothing of convicting an innocent person just because they can! Federal prosecutors are the worst sort of vermin!

Since: Feb 12

Bedford, MA

#4 May 21, 2012
2000 in 23 years? That isn't bad.
When you consider that nearly 1,000,000,000 people are convicted of felonies each year in the US. That means that using approximate numbers from the article, that 8 to the -8 % were wrongly convicted. Pretty good percentage.
These are People

Fort Worth, TX

#5 May 21, 2012
Well, UR BS maybe you need to do a web search for the article "US Prison Population Dwarfs that of Other Nations." Maybe then you would not be so proud of our numbers. The US was once looked up to by other countries, but now other free countries do not want to have a prison system like the US.

Maybe you might like to also see the documentary, "6,149 Days: The True Story of Greg Taylor." You can find each of these on the internet if you search these two titles.

You might also find it interesting how prosecutors are not being punished when they knowingly withhold information that would set a person free.

No, our percentage rates are not great by any measure. The US has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but almost 1/4 of the world's prisoners.

Since: Feb 12

Tucson, AZ

#6 May 22, 2012
These are People wrote:
Well, UR BS maybe you need to do a web search for the article "US Prison Population Dwarfs that of Other Nations." Maybe then you would not be so proud of our numbers. The US was once looked up to by other countries, but now other free countries do not want to have a prison system like the US.
Maybe you might like to also see the documentary, "6,149 Days: The True Story of Greg Taylor." You can find each of these on the internet if you search these two titles.
You might also find it interesting how prosecutors are not being punished when they knowingly withhold information that would set a person free.
No, our percentage rates are not great by any measure. The US has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but almost 1/4 of the world's prisoners.
Maybe if these people stopped commiting crimes they wouldn't be in prison. Ever think of that?
Maybe you should have a family member murdered by one of these poor incarcerated people that let yout because the prisons are too over crowded.
Try and dig your head out of your backside for just one minute and catch a breath of fresh air to clear some of that liberal crap out of your head.
Now so tell us all which of these criminals do you want us to release and let move in next door to you?
You see there are reasons we have soo many prisoners. We actually prosecute criminals and send them away. Now what exactly would you have the courts do? Should we stop prosecuting crime? What crimes should we ignore?
How about murder? Rape? Assault? Theft? What crimes should we just ignore?
Considering the number of felonies prosecuted in this country every year the percentage of wrongfull convictions is very good.
Until you come up with a better system why not just STHU?
These are People

Fort Worth, TX

#7 May 22, 2012
UR BS: Well, for one there are people that are in prison for addiction to drugs. Many of them have never robbed or harmed anyone and for some this is their very first crime. We have other programs that are more suitable for this than prison. They can still be under the control of the court and sent to prison if they do not conform. We need to use these more. That alone would free up more room in our prisons to house those that are a danger to others.

For a person that has learned their lesson about drugs and is sincere in changing then I would accept them as a neighbor. They have done no harm to others and are not as much of a danger as an adultress that has broken up families. This is a sin we forgive, but often for a person that has at a low point in their life taken drugs then too many times we are unforgiving.

If they rob, murder, or rape, then yes they deserve to be in prison. If we freed our prisons more of the non-dangerous people, then we would have room and that person you are worried about would not be released and on the street.

If prosecutors were held more accountable to the law and could not withhold evidence that would free a person, but uphold the law as it is suppose to be upheld, then we would also not have as many people in prison

When a person is sent to prison and is in daily contact with murderers, etc., this does not make a non-violent person a better person. I think we need to improve our system rather than build more prisons that sometimes change a non-violent person to a violent.
Buck

Livonia, MI

#8 May 22, 2012
UR BS wrote:
2000 in 23 years? That isn't bad.
When you consider that nearly 1,000,000,000 people are convicted of felonies each year in the US. That means that using approximate numbers from the article, that 8 to the -8 % were wrongly convicted. Pretty good percentage.
It is not a bad statistic unless your the one that gets wrongly convicted and imprisoned.

Since: Feb 12

United States

#9 May 22, 2012
People.
In an idealistic state what you say may be true but unfortuneately we don't live in an idealistic world.
As to drug users. There are not that many that have been sent to prison simply because they use. In the vast majority of cases if there is no other crime invloved they are initially sent to a rehab program. They get jail if they fail that program, or have other crimes attached such as theft to feed their habit.
What you are talking about moving in next to you is someone that has already gotten clean. That would be like a person that has served their time and gotten out. So not what I was asking.
As to an adultress that is not a crime unless she charges for it. It may not be nice but it is not a crime. Besides I don't know too many guys or gals that have been forced to commit afultry. They do it because they want to so it takes 2. Not just the aduiltress but alsi the one she does it with.
What exactly are the non-dangerous prisoners you speak of? I know you think addicts are non-dangerous but there are multitudes of them that are very dangerous and many that simply haven't been caught commiting dangerous acts yet.
Burglers generaly are non-danferous as long as no one catches them in the act by coming home unexpectedly. So should we let burglers go free?
As to prosecuters. I know that some do things that are not on the up and up but they can be prosecuted. There are rules as to discovery etc. The rules actually favor the accused much more than they do the prosecution. A case in point is the prosecutor in the Duke Lacrosse case. He faces now disbarment and possible criminal charges.
Now I agree that some prosecutors probably deserve to be in jail more than some of the people they have convicted and they should be charged if they knowingly violate the law just as any other person is.
As to being exposed to murderers, rapists, etc in prison there is a very simple solution. Don't do the crime!
Regardless of all of this. In a nation of laws there must be consequences or the laws are meaningless.
I just wish there was as much concern for the victims as there is for the criminals.
These are People

Fort Worth, TX

#10 Jul 20, 2012
UR BS: I have debated quite awhile with myself whether to even respond to you or not. I know that it will do no good--how do I know you so well??

Well, UR BS, I was once just like you with your attitude toward those charged with a crime. Then I saw a world that I never thought I would see--not through what I experienced, but by what I saw.

Yes, there are people that do go to prison for their very first crime of using drugs. You see they can be called a drug lord when they are almost penniless and have very few drugs. If they charge you for enough crimes whether guilty or not it will make your defense that much more expensive until they can make it out of reach for your family if they want. It all depends on who wants to build a case. Yes, they can go when they have done no other crime and yes with never given drug treatment when they have begged for a chance at treatment.

As far as the Duke Lacrosse case, I do wonder what the outcome would have been if those being prosecuted had been poor instead of from families with money. I understand their defense ran into the millions. How many people can afford that? How many times is this type of thing happening and the people being prosecuted do not have the money for their defense? Sure, we give them an attorney, but what kind of an attorney. Do you know, we send people away for many, many years while their attorney has never even heard their story. If the court apponinted attorney wants to just show up in court then we call that as fulfilling their duties.

We do have drug programs that are very good--the fact is they are not being used enough. A prosecutor and his team can build up their careers more with a prison sentence than they can sending someone to treatment--even when the treatment has a program that if not showing success with the program the person can be withdrawn at any time and sent back to court to be fully prosecuted. So, no, I do not think we are doing all we can do to try to turn the situation around.

Since: Feb 12

El Paso, TX

#11 Jul 20, 2012
Well let me quote you,
"Well, UR BS, I was once just like you with your attitude toward those charged with a crime. Then I saw a world that I never thought I would see--not through what I experienced, but by what I saw."

Now let me tell you what I saw.
I saw a family member murdered.
I saw the 21 day old son of that family member go without a father for the rest of his life.
I saw one of that family members friends chase down and catch the murderer with no helpfrom the cops.
I saw that murderer be convicted of murder.
I saw that convicted murderer sentenced to 5 years in prison.
I saw that family members wife spiral downward.
I saw his wife get arrested and is waiting trial now.
I saw all this and I still see that the perpetrators get more rights than the victims.
The family ember waiting trial now is for a non-violent crime but guess what if she goes to prison then so be it. She did the crime she can do the time.
Now if anyone had a reason to go on the wrong side of the law it would be her but that does not ease the suffering inflictd on the victims.
So don't try and tell me about what you have seen because I somehow don't think you have seen what I have seen.
Josh

Atlanta, GA

#12 Jul 20, 2012
Kill them all and let God sort them out. People commit crimes. Other people need to be protected from the criminals. If the police arrest somebody, it's because there's some reason. If they didn't do the crime they're arrested for today, there's a good chance they did something worse before or will do something worse tomorrow. Nobody over the age of 1 or 2 is really innocent any more.
These are People

Fort Worth, TX

#13 Jul 20, 2012
UR BS: Again, if you read what I have written I am not talking about those that have killed. I am talking about those that have done no harm to another--only to themselves.

No, I have not seen a family member murdered, but no that is not what I am talking about.

I have not seen what you have seen and it appears you have not seen what I have seen.
These are People

Fort Worth, TX

#14 Jul 20, 2012
So Josh: If no one over the age of 1 or 2 is innocent any more does that mean we should lock all of them up?

No, just because they were accused of a crime they did not commit it does not mean they have done another crime they should be locked up for, nor does it mean they will commit a crime in the future.

If we are going to lock people up for what they may do in the future, maybe we should lock you up too as you might also commit a crime in the future.

Since: Feb 12

El Paso, TX

#15 Jul 20, 2012
These are People wrote:
UR BS: Again, if you read what I have written I am not talking about those that have killed. I am talking about those that have done no harm to another--only to themselves.
No, I have not seen a family member murdered, but no that is not what I am talking about.
I have not seen what you have seen and it appears you have not seen what I have seen.
I have read what you said and I disagree.
These people that you speak of have indeed hurt people. By buying drugs they empower the dealers, this hurts us all especially along the border.
The more they use drugs the more they need to use them. This leads to stealing so they can buy more.
Then if they happen to get caught in the act by the person they are stealing from it can turn violent very fast.
The one thing you missed in your statement that you made, "I am talking about those that have done no harm to another--only to themselves." is the "SO FAR" or you could insert YET after the word another.
So I don't know what you have seen but I can't see anything like it.

Since: Feb 12

El Paso, TX

#16 Jul 20, 2012
These are People wrote:
So Josh: If no one over the age of 1 or 2 is innocent any more does that mean we should lock all of them up?
No, just because they were accused of a crime they did not commit it does not mean they have done another crime they should be locked up for, nor does it mean they will commit a crime in the future.
If we are going to lock people up for what they may do in the future, maybe we should lock you up too as you might also commit a crime in the future.
I have to agree with what you wrote here. We all know of cops trying to close cases no matter what, or charging someoen to try and force info out of them. So I agree that simply being arrested is not proof of guilt. I firmly believe in the innocent until proven guilty principle.
That being said if the are convicted then they should be treated as a criminal because that is what they are.
The one thing I would say about your post is that the last comment was not needed, it only serves to inflame the discussion and that helps no one.
These are People

Fort Worth, TX

#17 Jul 20, 2012
UR BS: If they are convicted they they should be treated as a criminal because that is what they are you say. However, this article we are commenting on is about all of those that were convicted and not guilty--so then the first statement would not be true.

You also say about my last comment is not necessary, but Josh was the one that made the statement regarding if they weren't guilty of that crime then they might would be guilty of one in the future--so, no, I don't agree with you on that.

Yes, I agree with you that buying and using drugs is not good--however, there are better ways of treating drug disease than a prison sentence. A non-violent person that has never robbed, etc., is not going to become a better person by spending years sitting in jail with violent people. We have treatment programs and these should be our first priority. As I stated previously they can be assigned to a program in which they live at the facility. This can be set up for reports to be given to the judge (or whoever) on a regular basis. Anytime, the person is not progressing as they should they can still be pulled and sent to prison. I feel this is a much better program than prison will ever be for the first-time drug offender with no violence, theft, etc.

Since: Feb 12

El Paso, TX

#18 Jul 21, 2012
These are People wrote:
UR BS: If they are convicted they they should be treated as a criminal because that is what they are you say. However, this article we are commenting on is about all of those that were convicted and not guilty--so then the first statement would not be true.
You also say about my last comment is not necessary, but Josh was the one that made the statement regarding if they weren't guilty of that crime then they might would be guilty of one in the future--so, no, I don't agree with you on that.
Yes, I agree with you that buying and using drugs is not good--however, there are better ways of treating drug disease than a prison sentence. A non-violent person that has never robbed, etc., is not going to become a better person by spending years sitting in jail with violent people. We have treatment programs and these should be our first priority. As I stated previously they can be assigned to a program in which they live at the facility. This can be set up for reports to be given to the judge (or whoever) on a regular basis. Anytime, the person is not progressing as they should they can still be pulled and sent to prison. I feel this is a much better program than prison will ever be for the first-time drug offender with no violence, theft, etc.
You are right in the first quote I used the wrong term. It should have been convicts not criminals. There will always be people convicted wrongly sorry but that is just how it goes.

As to the second quote I still disagree. What he said was a generlization. What you did was make it personal which would be viewed as an attack and therefor plac on personon the defesive effectively ending any real debate.
Now to the rest of your post.
Buying drugs is not simply, "Not good" it s a crime. It doesn't matter if that person is violent or not. That person is a criminal by definition. They have many different levels of prisons and levels inside those prisons. I am not saying to place them in supermax they could go to a minimum security faclity and while there get treatment.
Now the other thing I take exception to in your post is the reference to disease. Drug use and adiction is not a disease. It is a choice. If it were a diseasethen there would be a germor a virus that causes it. There is none. So sorry but I don't by the disease line.
Lastly as I said the only reason that some of these drugys have not commited other crimes is time.
sense

Crown Point, IN

#19 Jul 22, 2012
UR BS wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe if these people stopped commiting crimes they wouldn't be in prison. Ever think of that?
Maybe you should have a family member murdered by one of these poor incarcerated people that let yout because the prisons are too over crowded.
Try and dig your head out of your backside for just one minute and catch a breath of fresh air to clear some of that liberal crap out of your head.
Now so tell us all which of these criminals do you want us to release and let move in next door to you?
You see there are reasons we have soo many prisoners. We actually prosecute criminals and send them away. Now what exactly would you have the courts do? Should we stop prosecuting crime? What crimes should we ignore?
How about murder? Rape? Assault? Theft? What crimes should we just ignore?
Considering the number of felonies prosecuted in this country every year the percentage of wrongfull convictions is very good.
Until you come up with a better system why not just STHU?
And to the families with loved ones wrongfully convicted? How do you address that? Should they suffer the same fate as the family of a murder victim? Or are they just colateral damage to you. Since when does America send innocent people to prison for a vote or "just in case." You are selfish and ignorant and abusive to those who also have lost loved ones to the system. At least you have closure. We have spent YEARS trying to correct the wrong of sly prosecuters who want a quick win and the popular vote. No offense but your heartless and need to STHU!

Since: Feb 12

Tucson, AZ

#20 Jul 23, 2012
sense wrote:
<quoted text>
And to the families with loved ones wrongfully convicted? How do you address that? Should they suffer the same fate as the family of a murder victim? Or are they just colateral damage to you. Since when does America send innocent people to prison for a vote or "just in case." You are selfish and ignorant and abusive to those who also have lost loved ones to the system. At least you have closure. We have spent YEARS trying to correct the wrong of sly prosecuters who want a quick win and the popular vote. No offense but your heartless and need to STHU!
No it is you that needs to STFU as you so eloquently put it.
Where did I say that people should g to jail for a, "Vote or Just in case"?
When a person is convicted by a jury of their peers then they have had the benefit of the rights guranteed to them under the constitution. So sorry if it sometimes goes wrong but that is how it goes.
Well I guess that you are all for correcting the wrongs of as you say, "Sly Prosecuters" so how about this. If you are truely concverned with justice then every murder case should be punishable with death. No prison terms, no paroles you kill someone you die. How about that?
Closure you say? My grandson is without a father for his entire life while the murdering POS that killed him was only gone for 5 years. What closure is that? What closure is there when I see my grandson carry a picture of his father that he never knew becausde that is all he has?
I'm sorry if someone gets convicted and sentenced wrongly but they will get out and if it is proven that they were wrongly convicted they will get out with a good sum of money to boot. Now prior to you getting all bent out of shape no money can replace the time spent in jail but they will eventually be reunited with their families. The victims of murders will never be with their families again.
So sorry but you can not compare the two.

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