New Study Predicts Wrongful Conviction Rate in U.S. at 5,000 to 10,000 Per Year

Wrongful Convictions Blog

By Professor Marvin Zalman.   Full article here.

The conclusion states:

The ultimate question is whether the prospect of, at a minimum, 2,000 innocent defendants going to prison every year (with capital murder defendants a disproportionately higher part of this total as their wrongful conviction rates are demonstrably higher than 0.5%), and another 3,000 receiving lesser felony sentences, should move the innocence reform agenda. That question will be decided in the political and policy arenas. Whatever activists or policy makers do, scholars have an obligation to think clearly about the issue. This obligation led me to rethink the bases of my belief that the Estimate of a general wrongful felony conviction rate of 0.5% to 1.0% is correct, which reconsideration has been explained at length herein.

As the Estimate is an estimate it could be wrong in either direction. It is likely that the number-of-wrongful-convictions-is-vanishingly- small hypothesis is the…

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