#Wrongful Convictions in America are increasing each year. Specifically, convictions against #Black People in comparison to whites. Convictions throughout history show a rise in blacks being wrongfully convicted over their white counterparts.
In 2001, Ferguson, a 17-year-old black male, was convicted on the basis of a friend's confession to police claiming he and Ferguson killed Heitholt for drinking money. Ferguson’s conviction was overturned in 2013 after it was uncovered that the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence and the witnesses who testified against him recanted their testimony. Ferguson was released due to inaccurate information obtained against him..
Blacks do more crime?
Ferguson is one of the many black men who have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated for crimes they did not commit. A report by the National Registry of Exonerations (NRE), shows that black people are more likely to be wrongfully convicted than #white people and are also likely to spend longer in prison before being exonerated for their crimes. The statistics are appalling to show that black people represent 13% of the U.S. population, but they represent over 47% of the 1,900 exoneration's released to the National Registry of Exonerations.
Why are black people more likely to be convicted over their white counterparts? The National Registry reports show that race plays a huge role in the convictions. Black people are charged with crimes more often than whites as displayed by the graph. The data gathered narrowed down to three types of crimes that blacks were more likely than whites to be exonerated: Sexual assault, murder, and drug crimes.
Researchers from the NRE stated, “these crimes differ based on the patterns of racial discrimination in all three groups.”
What statistics say
Recent data gathered for sexual assault crimes that have led to the convictions of black people show that blacks were 3.5 times more likely to be innocent than white people convicted of such crimes. The reason explained by the NRE is because white victims who make mistakes identifying black assailants. This is more common in cases where the victim is a white woman and the offender is a black man.
Innocent blacks are seven times more likely to be convicted of murder than whites because homicide rates among the black community are higher than the whites. This leads to black people being more likely to be suspects of crimes that ultimately lead to convictions.
In addition, murder cases where a black defendant was wrongfully convicted were 22% more likely to involve police misconduct than those involving white defendants.
The drug disparities show that blacks are three times more likely to be convicted over whites, even though illegal drug use is common for both races. Blacks are convicted at a higher rate over their white counterparts.
The disparities are shocking but real. The question now is how will America change these statistics to show that the legal system is just for all?