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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, April 23, 2007

200th Person Exonerated by DNA Evidence

From USATODAY.com: A former Army cook who spent nearly 25 years in prison for a rape he did not commit is scheduled today to become the 200th person exonerated by DNA evidence, underscoring the quickening pace of overturned convictions, according to the Innocence Project.

The New York-based legal group says the 100th exoneration occurred in January 2002, 13 years after the first exoneration. It took just more than five years for the number to double.

"Five years ago, people said that the number (of exonerations) was going to dry up because there just weren't many wrongful convictions," said lawyer Barry Scheck, who co-founded the Innocence Project in 1992 to help prisoners prove their innocence through DNA evidence. "But clearly, there are plenty of innocent persons still in prison. There's no way you can look at this data without believing that."

David Lazer, a Harvard University public policy professor who specializes in DNA issues, says improved testing technology and an increase in the number of lawyers who are taking on DNA cases should result in a continued increase in the number of wrongful convictions that are set aside.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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