A lie sentenced Chaunte Ott to 12 years
in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.
Mr. Ott is one of many innocent people detailed in a database created by two law schools of all the known cases where someone was put in prison and then later cleared of having committed a crime.
Called the National Registry of Exonerations, the database has looked at all the known exonerations since 1989. There have been 873 cases, and since there’s no official record-keeping system for this information, it’s very likely there are many more.
Why did these innocent people get jailed?
There are many reasons, but most of the time, innocent people were jailed because someone lied.
Over half of the people (51%) were victims of lies, either by perjury or a false accusation.
43% for mistaken witness identification
15% for a false confession
24% for false or misleading forensic evidence
42% for official misconduct.
And my headline about "innocent men" is not sexist: 93% of the wrongly imprisoned were men.
– The case of Chaunte Ott>>
– National Registry of Exonerations, a joint project of the University of the Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law>>
See statistics here (opens PDF file) Exonerations, Law, University of Michigan>>
See key findings here (opens PDF file) Exonerations, Law, University of Michigan>>