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Study Suspects Thousands of False Convictions
By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: April 19, 2004
A comprehensive study of 328 criminal cases over the last 15 years in which the convicted person was exonerated suggests that there are thousands of innocent people in prison today.
Some 90 percent of false convictions in the rape cases involved misidentification by witnesses, very often across races. In particular, the study said black men made up a disproportionate number of exonerated rape defendants.
Interracial rapes are, moreover, uncommon. Rapes of white women by black men, for instance, represent less than 10 percent of all rapes, according to the Justice Department. But in half of the rape exonerations where racial data was available, black men were falsely convicted of raping white women.
"The most obvious explanation for this racial disparity is probably also the most powerful," the study says. "White Americans are much more likely to mistake one black person for another than to do the same for members of their own race."
On the other hand, the study found that the leading causes of wrongful convictions for murder were false confessions and perjury by co- defendants, informants, police officers or forensic scientists.
“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz
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