Saturday, August 18, 2007

12.5 years? that would get you out by february of 2020

sure, imprisoning innocent people is not "ideal," but isn't the greater tragedy that we're finding out about it?
- stephen colbert

with classes starting soon, crim instructors might be interested in showing a video clip of stephen colbert's interview with jerry miller. mr. miller was the 200th person exonerated by the group mr. colbert calls "the murder huggers" at the innocence project.

the project put together a special report to commemorate their first 200 exonerations. among the summary statistics:
  • they served an average of 12.5 years in prison
  • 88 percent were convicted of sexual assault and 28 percent were convicted of murder
  • 77 percent were convicted, at least in part, on eyewitness identification
  • 62 percent were african american
  • 60 percent had spent at least a third of their life in prison or on parole when exonerated
  • 45 percent have been compensated financially for their wrongful convictions
  • and, in a classic catch-22, many were denied parole because they refused to accept responsibility for crimes they did not commit

for related resources, you might check out the project's youtube page for some good first-person accounts and the center on wrongful convictions at northwestern law.

*the exoneration total has now climbed to 205.

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