LEGAL ACCESS PLUS is a National Online Database for Wrongfully Convicted Prisoners, plus more. We raise awareness of wrongfully convicted prisoners by enabling each prisoner to share their profile and story on our networks and reveal proof of how they were wrongfully convicted. The works of Legal Access Plus are well known and respected by members of the legal community and the media.
Joining our networks allows prisoners to expose their wrongful convictions to people and organizations that have the power to open doors and provide the justice they are entitled to. Legal ACCESS PLUS puts subscribers profiles on our media networks so that they can be seen by Innocence Projects, Conviction Integrity Units (CIU), private investigators, forensic experts, criminal & civil lawyers, legal organizations and the media! It is our goal to obtain investigations into cases where serious constitutional violations have occurred to determine the truth and correct wrongful convictions.
Since 1989, there have been tens of thousands of cases where prime suspects were identified and pursued—until DNA testing (prior to conviction) proved that they were wrongly accused.
In more than 25% of cases in a National Institute of Justice study, suspects were excluded once DNA testing was conducted during the criminal investigation (the study, conducted in 1995, included 10,060 cases where testing was performed by FBI labs).
An Innocence Project review of our closed cases from 2004 – June 2015 revealed that 29% of cases were closed because of lost or destroyed evidence.
Fast facts by the numbers:
1989: The first DNA exoneration took place
375 DNA exonerees to date
37: States where exonerations have been won
14: Average number of years served
5,284: Total number of years served
26.6: Average age at the time of wrongful conviction
43: Average age at exoneration
21 of 375 people served time on death row
44 of 375 pled guilty to crimes they did not commit
69%: Involved eyewitness misidentification and of these:
34% of these misidentification cases involved an in-person lineup
52% involved a misidentification from a photo array
7% involved a misidentification from a mugshot book
16% involved a misidentification from a show-up procedure
5% involved a misidentification from a one-on-one photo procedure
27% involved a misidentification through the use of a composite sketch
11% involved a voice misidentification
2% involved a misidentification through hypnosis
54% involved an in-court misidentification
29% involved a misidentification through some other procedure (e.g., mistakenly “recognizing” someone on the street and reporting them to law enforcement)
77% of the misidentification cases involved multiple procedures
84% of the misidentification cases involved a misidentification by a surviving victim
42% involved a cross-racial misidentification
32% involved multiple misidentifications of the same person by different witnesses
18% involved a failure to identify the exoneree in at least one procedure
43%: Involved misapplication of forensic science
29%: Involved false confessions
49% of the false confessors were 21 years old or younger at the time of arrest
31% of the false confessors were 18 years old or younger at the time of arrest
9% of the false confessors had mental health or mental capacity issues, known at trial
17%: Involved informants
268: DNA exonerees compensated
190: DNA exonerations worked on by the Innocence Project
165: Actual assailants identified. Those actual perpetrators went on to be convicted of 154 additional violent crimes, including 83 sexual assaults, 36 murders, and 35 other violent crimes while the innocent sat behind bars for their earlier offenses.
130 DNA exonerees were wrongfully convicted for murders; 40 (31%) of these cases involved eyewitness misidentifications and 81 (62%) involved false confessions [as of July 9, 2018]
102 DNA exonerations involved false confessions; the real perp was identified in 76 (75%) of these cases. These 38 real perps went on to commit 48 additional crimes for which they were convicted, including 25 murders, 14 rapes, and 9 other violent crimes [as of July 24, 2018]
180 of the DNA exonerees (50%) had the real perpetrator(s) identified in their cases [as of August 22, 2018]
137 of the DNA exonerees had the real perpetrator(s) identified through a cold database hit [as of October 19, 2018]
At least 43 (52%) of the 83 DNA exonerees who falsely confessed included non-public facts in their confessions [as of July 29, 2020]
23 (22%) of the 104 people whose cases involved false confessions had exculpatory DNA evidence available at the time of trial but were still wrongfully convicted [as of July 29, 2020]
83 (61%) of the 137 DNA exonerees who were wrongfully convicted for murder had false confessions involved in their cases (33 confessed themselves, 20 had co-defendants who confessed, and another 30 confessed themselves and had co-defendants who confessed) [as of July 29, 2020]