WHAT’S THE TRUTH ABOUT EXONERATION?
290 Californians have been exonerated since 1989.
They’ve collectively lost 2,302 years of their lives.
Source: National Registry of Exonerations, December 2023.
African Americans are 7 times more likely to be wrongfully convicted of murder than whites.
Source: National Registry of Exonerations, March 7, 2017.
There is no established state program to help exonerees after release from prison, and they do not have access to the reentry programs available to individuals on parole. When Obie was released he didn’t even have identification – no social security card or birth certificate. After seventeen years in prison, he didn’t know what to write on his resume, how to land a job, or even how to use a cell phone. Like Obie, other exonerees face barriers to meeting their basic needs, securing safe housing and finding living wage employment.
TO OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT.
In Obie’s case, prosecutorial misconduct, inadequate legal defense, and false accusation led to his wrongful conviction. His lawyer completely failed to conduct a proper investigation, and never believed that Obie was innocent. The prosecutor cut a secret deal with the key witness. The key witness falsely picked Obie out of a line-up. This is not uncommon. In fact, official misconduct by prosecutors, police, and other government officials contribute to 60% of wrongful convictions in homicide cases. (Source: National Registry of Exonerations)
Obie’s wrongful incarceration was traumatic, and now he lives with PTSD. Sometimes he can’t stop thinking about the things he saw in prison – the killings, the stabbings, the time medical staff strapped down and shot up someone with enough thorazine to permanently disable him. Even today, Obie is always on guard. Like Obie, other exonerees face major mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and PTSD long after release. Without assistance following release, exonerees struggle to access the treatment and support they need.
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WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE YOU! BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.
Exonerated Nation is a growing organization and we’re calling on you to help us meet the needs of exonerees. Here are three ways to support us: Make a tax-deductible donation to EN. Invite an exoneree to speak to your school or organization. Organize an event to educate your friends about wrongful convictions . Donate your gently used computers, cell phones, and clothing.