Since 1973, 140 people from 26 states have been released from Death Row in light of evidence that clearly shows that they are innocent and have been wrongfully convicted and incarcerated. Florida has the highest number of exonerations with 23 and surprisingly Illinois comes in second with 20. Now if you sit back for a second and think about this, that is 43 people that have had their lives ruined in mishaps of justice and that is too many. I am ashamed that the state I live in is number 2 on this chart, so that means there must be a problem with the way that we are convicting people or it could be something worse. There is a racial breakdown of the people that have been released from Death Row. 71 have been African-American, 55 have been Caucasian, 12 have been Latino, 2 have been categorized as other. After looking over these results of exonerations There was another link for Executed but possibly Innocent and there have been 9 people that have been executed since 1989 that could have possibly been innocent. This is in my opinion the biggest travesty in the field of Criminal Justice, when innocent life is lost due to possibility of innocence. All of these statistics come from the Death Penalty Information Center or DPIC.
With all that aside there have been new developments in the field of Criminal Justice to try and clear up some of these mishaps. This is Post Conviction DNA testing, since the field of DNA comparison only keeps advancing and becoming a force of precision we can now use this to the advantage of the inmates that are claiming that they are innocent. Since DNA has been allowed to be used for exoneration it has help 225 people that were wrongfully convicted get out of jail. 44 states allow the used of Post Conviction DNA testing, I do not know why the other 6 are holding out. Even though most jurisdictions hold onto the swabs and evidence of that nature a lot do not and remove them after a certain period of time. Evidence like this should be held onto until the case is complete and the DNA profile should be stored in CODIS (Combined DNA Identification System) for later identification for crimes so a profile and can possibly made to speed up the investigation of crimes that heavily rely on DNA for instances of Murder and Rape. There are some barriers to the Post Conviction DNA Testing, in order for the testing to be done it relies heavily on the person incarcerated for to apply to have the testing done. Some states only allow for the DNA testing to be done if there was no DNA testing at the time of the offense. Other states only allow DNA testing if there is a "Reasonable Probability" that the results can be in favor of the defense. DNA can be a powerful ally for the Police and for Convicted offenders with the possibility of innocence. Either way it is putting people behind bars with a higher success rate and with a greater chance of proving beyond a reasonable doubt, and helping to exonerate people that have been incarcerated wrong fully like in the case of William Dillion: