Record Number of Exonerations in 2015


A report published Wednesday found a record number of people were exonerated of crimes in the U.S. in 2015, with nearly 40 percent of cases involving people falsely convicted in homicides.

The National Registry of Exonerations said 149 people spent an average of 15 years in prison before being exonerated last year—10 more than in 2014—the highest total since the group began keeping records in 1989.

The convictions included 47 drug crimes, 54 murder convictions that were overturned, and five convicts who were awaiting execution. Of those wrongly convicted for homicides, the report said,“more than two-thirds were minorities, including half who were black.”

Researchers said the annual number of exonerations has more than doubled since 2011, with an average of nearly three exonerations a week. Read more.