Credit: Jerry Cabluck—Sygma/Corbis
Walls Unit in Huntsville prison where lethal injections are carried out on inmates in Huntsville, Texas.
By: David Von Drehle
Monday, April 28, 2014
New research finds that almost four percent of U.S. capital punishment sentences are wrongful convictions, almost double the number of people set free, meaning around 120 of the roughly 3,000 inmates on death row in America are not guilty.
The United States may be putting more innocent people to death than previously thought. According to a sweeping new statistical analysis made public today, the rate of wrongful death sentences in the U.S. is probably much higher than experts have estimated.
Authors of the study say that their “conservative estimate of the proportion of erroneous convictions” is 4.1 percent, or approximately twice the number actually exonerated and set free from death row. This could mean that approximately 120 of the roughly 3,000 inmates on death row in America might not be guilty, while additional scores of wrongfully convicted inmates are serving life in prison after their death sentences were reduced over technical legal errors.