200th Wrongly Imprisoned Man Freed by DNA


The Innocence Project announces its 200th exoneration using DNA evidence. It took 13 years for the group to reach its 100th exoneration. It took just 5 to reach 200.

Here's the scary part: The vast majority of jurisdictions across the country only recently began keeping blood and tissue samples (within the last 10-15 years). These exonerations have largely come from the few that began keeping them earlier. Dallas County, Texas for example, has had 13 of the 200 exonerations all by itself. More than 400 more convicted men there await testing to possibly clear their names.

As the Houston Chronicle's Lisa Falkenberg explains in an editorial critical of Houston's own criminal justice system, Dallas County's high exoneration rate isn't so much a reflection of what is has historically done wrong (which was plenty, but not all that unusual) as what it's now doing right. It's blessed with a prosecutor who's more interested in justice than rolling up conviction statistics.