From the McClatchy-Tribune (Washington Post, June 10):
WASHINGTON — Obie Anthony served hard time in California prisons for a crime he didn’t commit.
He’s not alone, and he’s not forgotten. Anthony is one of nearly 900 exonerated former prisoners whose wrenching stories are wrapped into a new database. The National Registry of Exonerations, being formally unveiled Monday, is the largest of its kind, and it will get bigger over time.
“This is useful, because if we want to prevent false convictions, we have to learn how we make mistakes,” Samuel Gross, a University of Michigan Law School professor, said in an interview….
Disturbingly, the database also identifies 71 individuals who were exonerated of crimes to which they’d ended up pleading guilty.
The database still captures only a slice of the exonerated population. All told, more than 2,000 exonerations have been identified since 1989. Many of these, totaling 1,170, involved individuals whose names were cleared in “group exonerations” after revelations of police corruption, including the plantings of guns and drugs.