Posts Tagged ‘innocence project’

It’s been a great first year, and I want to thank all of you for taking the time to read, post, comment, share, and otherwise support this blog. I especially want to thank Brittius.com for all the reblogs of our content and the comments they’ve shared over the past months. Much appreciated, friends. You can read their blog here.

Image courtesy of jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Our blog began simply as an information project, primarily to help my students. I referred them here for more info on topics that commonly came up in our discussions and the other work we were doing together. Not only was it helpful to them, and a springboard for further discussion and learning, but I soon found that other people were interested in these topics as well.

That lead to additional topics, some guest posts, experiments with different approaches, and even a shot at a podcast (I plan to revive that in the new year). We also upped the game with a new and improved research blog, also supported by the company that sponsors this blog – Æquitas Educational Services – and a new weekly news site for parents: Social Web Safety.

Our Blog — Æquitas Educational Services 2013-12-14 08-28-44

So, to wrap things up, I’ve pulled together the top ten posts from Crime & Justice in terms of views, comments, and reblogs for 2013. I look forward to another year of growth and experimentation in 2014, and we’ll continue striving to provide you with the types of content you’re seeking.

If you have suggestions, story ideas, or just some feedback you’d like to share, let me know. And, as always, please spread the word about our blog and what we’re up to.

Top Ten Posts of 2013
  1. How Many Innocent People are in Prison?
  2. Why do Non-violent Felons Lose the Right to Bear Arms?
  3. Female Sex Offenders – Hidden in Plain Sight?
  4. Compliance with Authority and The Strip Search Prank Call Scam
  5. What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
  6. The Legal System’s Non-Response to “Revenge Porn” (Updated 11/7/13)
  7. Friday Crime Vids – The Failed War on Drugs
  8. Why Therapeutic Jurisprudence?
  9. Does Privacy Still Matter?
  10. Kratom – Wonder Drug or Potential Health Threat?

Thanks again, and have a happy and safe holiday season!

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At the end of 2011, there were 1,598,780 people incarcerated in American prisons (Bureau of Justice Statistics), a total that does not include individuals detained in jails or other facilities awaiting trial or disposition of their case.

By the strictest definitions of guilt and innocence, 100% of these incarcerated offenders were adjudicated and are considered guilty in the eyes of the system. So, none of them are technically innocent.

However, there are a number of cases in which individuals sentenced to prison have later been shown not to have committed the offense for which they were convicted. According to the Innocence Project, 302 people have been exonerated by DNA evidence since 1989.

Here is a racial breakdown of those 302 exonerees:

188 African Americans
86 Caucasians
21 Latinos
2 Asian American
5 whose race is unknown

The causes of these wrongful convictions ranged from faulty eyewitness accounts to poor legal representation, and each one represents not only a tragedy for the individual, but also a huge failing of the justice system overall.

The Innocence Project also cites estimates that between 2.3 and 5% of incarcerated individuals are innocent. Based on the numbers of offenders incarcerated at the end of 2011, that would equate to between 36,000 and 80,000 innocents in prison.

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