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Over the past half century in the United States, what portion of people who were initially sentenced to death row were later deemed innocent and released?

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Since the U.S. Supreme Court enacted guidelines for the death penalty in 1972, about 2% of people who were initially sentenced to death row were later declared innocent based on evidence that they did not commit the crime. Anti-death penalty publications and broadcasts (like the 2019 movie Just Mercy) often use a figure of 10%, but this is misleading because it is based on a denominator of actual executions, and 85% of death row inmates have not been put to death mainly due to legal appeals, delays, and clemencies. The last person who was actually executed under the death penalty and later exonerated was put to death in 1939.

DocumentationInnocence and ExonerationsExoneration Frequency




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