The Philadelphia Conviction Integrity Unit working with the Philly D.A. office and their court system found nine men wrongfully convicted in just nineteen months.
I remember a time when people quibbled about the actual percentages of wrongfully convicted persons in this country. Truth be told, people still do. Most sources state that anywhere from 2-5 percent of people caught up in the criminal justice system are actually innocent. For years people took issue with those numbers. To me it’s simple. It doesn’t matter what percentages you believe (we’ll never know for certain) the reality is that there are some innocent people in our system, and with all of the data we now have, it seems that the amount of innocent people caught up in the system is far higher than any of us would have wanted to admit.
The thing is the United States has something like SEVEN MILLION people caught up in the criminal justice system under some sort of government supervision, either in custody, or out of custody on probation, parole, or registered as a sex offender. When you’re dealing with numbers that high, and you concede that even if the system proved 99.75 percent accurate it would still produce something like 100,000 to 175,000 wrongful convictions!
Let that sink in. And as I always say, if you still don’t buy it. Fine. cut those numbers in half. 50,000 people. Is that evidence of a broken system?
Please stay aware, stay vigilant. Keep active on social media, vote for the right people, and when serving on a jury, remember objectivity. It’s healthy to have a distrust of authority. Try to put into practice the maxim, innocent until proven guilty.
Support your local innocence organization. Here’s mine: California Innocence Project.