2,259 People Exonerated from Wrongfully Convictions

2,259 People Exonerated from Wrongfully Convictions | Kathy Marshack Because of my own experience with being wrongly accused and held in jail on two different occasions, my eyes were drawn to a recent New York Times article. It reported that, within the last year, there have been 139 people exonerated and released from being wrongly imprisoned, some had even been put on death row. They spent an average of 10.6 years in prison. That adds up to 1,478 years these men and women had been wrongly incarcerated.Can you imagine what that feels like? Spending years behind bars – day after day, year after year, decade after decade – when you’re innocent? It’s not something we want to think about usually, is it?

Yet there’s a group of people who have dedicated their lives to exonerating people from wrongful convictions. They are “professional exonerators,” mostly lawyers in prosecutors’ offices and private organizations, like the Innocence Project. They must have a highly developed sense of empathy, which I call Radiant Empathy, to fight so hard for the rights of others.

There’s even an online National Registry of Exonerations, which tracks such cases. According to the registry, there are 30+ conviction integrity units in the nation and 50+ private organizations dedicated to uncovering and overturning wrongful convictions.

DNA was first used in an exoneration in 1989. Since then, 2,259 people have been cleared of their convictions adding up to a total of 19,790 years lost, according to the registry. Sixteen of these exonerations have been in Oregon, with a total of 65 years lost; and 49 exonerations in Washington State adding up to a total of 236 years lost.

What contributes to these false arrests? The Registry lists these factors:

  • mistaken identification,
  • coerced and false confessions,
  • bad forensic evidence,
  • perjury and false accusation,
  • and official misconduct.

You can read the exonerees’ stories on the Registry website. As you look at their photos, it becomes so real that these people have suffered terribly…some put on death row for murdering their children that died, in actuality, from health-related problems. It takes a lot of courage, hope, strength, resilience and Radiant Empathy to survive and thrive after an experience like that.

If you’d like to read my story of being falsely accused, feel free to download a complimentary chapter of my new book, “WHEN EMPATHY FAILS – How to stop those hell-bent on destroying you.” If being wrongfully put in jail can happen to me, it could happen to you, too. I’ve written this book to help you protect yourself by learning how to develop the highest form of empathy – Radiant Empathy. You can purchase my book on Amazon.

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