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Study: 4% of Death Row Inmates Are Most Likely Innocent

In a shocking new study, a team led by University of Michigan Law School professor Samuel Gross determined that more than 4% of death row inmates are likely innocent. In a statement, Gross said “The great majority of innocent people who are sentenced to death are never identified and freed.” The authors of the research, which were published in the article “Rate of False Conviction of Criminal Defendants Who Are Sentenced to Death” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America this week, reviewed more than 7,400 death penalty cases, finding that 1.6 percent of the inmates were eventually exonerated.

Utilizing advanced statistic tools and research analysis, they determined that with adequate resources and time, 4.1% would have been exonerated. As The Huffington Post notes, “What the researchers call a ‘conservative estimate’ about the number of wrongfully convicted death row inmates is more than double the percentage of capital defendants who were exonerated during more than three decades that were studied. That means innocent people are languishing behind bars, according to the study” …

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