The justice system is a major cornerstone of our democratic society. Its whole purpose is to judge blindly without bias while keeping the upmost integrity. But that doesn’t mean it’s without fault. Since 2000, 250 convicted felons have been freed having been proved innocent of their crimes. 18 of the 317 people exonerated (since 1989) have severed time on death row and the average time spent in prison by the wrongly convicted person is 13 years and six months. To put it in total years lost, that adds up to 4,249 years served by people who are completely innocent of the crimes they were convicted for.
For this reason, the Innocence Project has made it their goal to liberate all of these convicts serving time upon false pretenses. The Innocence Project has vehemently fought for the rights of prisoners and has single handedly helped free 173 wrongly convicted prisoners, almost half of all of those who have been exonerated.
Due to recent technological advances, the use of DNA as evidence is becoming more prevalent. In recent news, DNA testing, performed by The Innocence Project, helped exonerate Nathan Brown of a conviction for attempted aggravated rape, based on faulty DNA evidence. The evidence overwhelmingly proved that a local man who lived in close proximity to where the assault happened conducted the attempted aggravated rape. Brown, whom had unwaveringly maintained his innocence, served 17 years as a convict, despite the fact he was an innocent man. This was augmented by a racial-misidentification and poor quality lawyer representation – he first met the lawyer at the start of the trial.
The harsh truth is we have dangerous criminals, such as rapists and murderers, walking free on the streets while honest people that had the potential to be positive members of the community, are behind bars. If it weren’t for the tireless work of The Innocence Project, Nathan Brown and many more, would still have their freedom stolen from them. Yes, they are now free, but at what cost?
For more information on the Innocence Project please click here.