Sunday, July 8, 2012

EXONERATIONS

The Past Never Goes Away, Thank Goodness

In an excellent article in today's New York Times, the contributing publication Texas Tribune outlined the 86 exonerations which have been granted in Texas in recent years.  By putting a face with most of these tragedies and stories behind them, the Tribune has aided in putting this on the upcoming legislative agenda.

I have taken a few minutes to break this down by category to try to understand this vexing problem:

COUNTIES OF EXONERATIONS:
Dallas                   37
Harris                   13
Travis                    7
McLennan             3
Tarrant                   3
Montgomery          3
Rains                     2
El Paso                  2
Lamb                     2
Counties with 1     14

RACE
Black                     42
White                    28
Hispanic                11
Other or Unknown  5

GENDER
Male                     81
Female                  5

CHARGE
Sex Assault           43
(Including Children)
Murder                  32
Robbery                 6
Others                    5

SENTENCES
Death                     10
Life                         33
60-99                       7
40-59                      12
20-39                      14
0-19                         7
Probation                 1

REASONS FOR EXONERATION  (May be more than one per case)
Post-Conviction Evidence                                56
(DNA, Recantation, etc.)
Prosecutorial Mishandling of Evidence             20*
(Withholding, Coercion, etc.)
Faulty Eyewitness Identification                        12
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel                      6
Use of Inadmissible Evidence                            5
False Confession                                              3
Unreliable Forensic Science                              3
Police Misconduct                                              2

*The Texas Tribune categorized the admission of another defendant's statement as prosecutorial misconduct.  I prefer to label this as an erroneous ruling by the Court.

For the complete interactive, please go to this link.

1 comment:

David Piper said...

Comprehensive data analysis such as this is very helpful in ascertaining facts and minimizing opinions.