Study Estimates the Prevalence of Wrongful Convictions

A study funded by a grant through the National Institute of Justice looked to "augment previous research estimating the rate of wrongful conviction using 715 Virginia homicide and sexual assault cases from 1973-1987."

The report, titled "Estimating the Prevalence of Wrongful Convictions," was authored by Kelly Walsh, Jeanette Hussemann, Abigail Flynn, Jennifer Yahner, Laura Golian.

According to the abstract:

"The original study only had access to the original forensic files and did not have case details, making it difficult to determine whether the DNA result supported an exoneration. The Urban Institute was able to obtain case information on 563 cases from the original sample and focused on the 430 cases in this sample most likely to yield a DNA profile. Of these 430 cases, 231 yielded a determinate DNA profile and 29 had a determinate DNA result that could support exoneration. 

"The Urban Institute estimates that the rate of wrongful conviction using Inverse Probability Weighting, which also accounts for missing data, could be as high as 11.6 percent. The study also obtained data on conviction and dismissal rates from other states in the time period and found that Virginia did not significantly differ from other states in its rate of convictions."

To read the full report, click here.

 
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