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Innocents in Prison
by Stuart Taylor Jr. of National Journal
As recently as 20 years ago, it was extraordinarily rare for a convicted prisoner to establish his or her innocence conclusively enough to get public attention. That changed with breakthroughs in DNA science.
The 205th DNA exoneration since 1989 was recorded earlier this month by the Innocence Project, a group of crack defense lawyers who have made such cases their mission. The exonerated prisoners?including 15 who had been sentenced to death?have been found innocent by courts, prosecutors, or governors based on post-conviction DNA testing.
But America has been too slow to appreciate that the DNA exonerations, and other evidence suggests that many thousands of other wrongly convicted people are rotting in prisons and jails around the country.
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