Since 1989, at least 1,089 people convicted of crimes have been officially cleared based on new evidence of their innocence, according to the National Registry of Exonerations annual report released Wednesday (April 3).
That total includes 178 exonerations that researchers at the University of Michigan Law School and Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law uncovered in the past year. Sixty-nine of those people were exonerated in 2012, the rest were cleared in earlier years but hadn't been included in the database until now.
The researchers, led by Professor Samuel Gross and veteran journalist Maurice Possley, launched a national registry of exonerations last year. The people included in the report, who come from 45 states and the District of Columbia, were convicted of crimes ranging from murder to tax fraud.