Exonerations for Crimes Reaches High in 2013

On February 5, 2014, in Justice, by editor2

Death Penalty Information Center. February 4, 2014.

According to a new report released on February 4 by the National Registry of Exonerations, 87 people had their criminal convictions dismissed in 2013, the most for any year in the Registry, which begins with 1989. Those exonerated last year included Reginald Griffin, who had been sentenced to death in Missouri 30 years ago. Griffin became the 143rd person on DPIC’s Innocence List, which includes those exonerated from death row since 1973. The National Registry has recorded 1,304 exonerations since 1989. Of those exonerated in 2013, 31% were in cases where no crime actually occurred; 17% occurred in cases in which the defendant had pled guilty. Texas led the country with the most exonerations (13). [Note: contains copyrighted material]

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/studies-exonerations-crimes-reaches-high-2013 [PDF format, 40 pages]

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The Death Penalty in 2013: Year End Report

On December 20, 2013, in Human Rights, Justice, by editor2

Death Penalty Information Center. December 18, 2013.

With 39 executions in 2013, this year marks only the second time in nearly two decades that the United States executed less than 40 people, according to a report released today by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC). In 2013, public support for the death penalty as measured in the annual Gallup poll declined to 60%, its lowest level in 40 years. In Boston, a strong majority (57%) of residents supported a sentence of life without parole for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, while only 33% of respondents supported a death sentence. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

http://deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/YearEnd2013.pdf [PDF format, 8 pages].

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Urban Institute. July 26, 2013.

This study finds that homicides with a white perpetrator and a black victim are ten times more likely to be ruled justified than cases with a black perpetrator and a white victim, and the gap is larger in states with Stand Your Ground laws. After accounting for a variety of factors, such as whether the victim and perpetrator were strangers, the gap is smaller, but still significant. Cases with a white perpetrator and a black victim are 281 percent more likely to be ruled justified than cases with a white perpetrator and white victim.
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Congressional Research Service. March 18, 2013.

This report focuses on mass shootings and selected implications they have for federal policy in the areas of public health and safety. While such crimes most directly impact particular citizens in very specific communities, addressing these violent episodes involves officials at all levels of government and professionals from numerous disciplines.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43004.pdf [PDF format, 40 pages]

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Congressional Research Service. January 22, 2013.

Since the early 1980s, there has been a historically unprecedented increase in the federal prison population. Some of the growth is attributable to changes in federal criminal justice policy during the previous three decades. An issue before Congress is whether policymakers consider the rate of growth in the federal prison population sustainable, and if not, what changes could be made to federal criminal justice policy to reduce the prison population while maintaining public safety. The report explores the issues related to the growing federal prison population.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42937.pdf [PDF format, 60 pages].

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