July 28, 2014

Wisconsin exonerations rank high in US

Wisconsin has the nation’s fourth-highest rate of wrongly-convicted prisoners who get exonerated. A new study from the National Registry of Exonerations shows 27 Wisconsinites were exonerated since 1989 when DNA testing came into use. When state populations are taken into account, only three other states have higher exoneration rates. Illinois is the highest, followed by Louisiana, and New York.

One reason for the higher numbers could be pointed to the Wisconsin Innocence Project operating out of UW-Madison Law School.

When simply counting the numbers, California tops the list — 119 wrongly-convicted prisoners were freed from the Golden State, followed by Texas, Illinois, and New York. Nationally over the last 23 years 1,050 convicts were later proclaimed innocent.

The Exoneration Registry is run by the Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University near Chicago. The registry was launched on May 21, 2012.