It’s a landmark worth celebrating for the Innocence Project. Yesterday, Freddie Peacock was the 250th DNA exoneration nationwide. Peacock, from Rochester, New York, was wrongfully convicted of rape 33 years ago was exonerated yesterday. He was sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and released on parole in 1982. He tried to remain on parole because he thought he would never be able to clear his name if he was released from state supervision. For the last 28 years since he left prison, he has fought to prove his innocence even though he was no longer incarcerated. For background on the Peacock case, click here.
Coinciding with this announcement, the Innocence Project released a report today titled "250 Exonerated: Too Many Wrongfully Convicted," which details each one of the exoneration cases and includes statistics on common causes of the wrongful convictions.Among the report's key findings:
• There have been DNA exonerations in 33 states and the District of Columbia.
• The top three states for DNA exonerations are New York (with 25), Texas (with 40) and Illinois (with 29).
• 70% of the 250 people exonerated are people of color (60% are black; nearly 9% are Latino; 29% are white).
The first DNA exoneration in the United States was in 1989. Peter Neufeld, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Innocence Project said "It's important to remember that DNA exonerations do not solve the problem - they provide scientific proof of its existence, and they illuminate the need for reform."
To check out many of the reforms enacted as well as pending legislation, you can check out this report. Congratulations to everyone involved in the accomplishments of The Innocence Project over the years.