A report co-authored by Michigan State University College of Law professor found out that African-American prisoners convicted for murder are about 50 percent more likely to be innocent and spend longer prison sentences before exoneration.
Also, a review of nearly 2000 exonerations in 2017 in the United States over almost three decades found African-Americans are far more likely to be wrongfully convicted of crimes such as murder, sexual assault and illegal drug activity than white people.
According to the study from the National Registry of Exonerations, which examined cases from 1989 to October 2016, of the 1,900 defendants convicted of crimes and later exonerated, 47 percent were African Americans.
That’s three times their representation in the population.
“In the murder cases we examined, the rate of official misconduct is considerably higher in cases where the defendant is African American compared to cases where the defendant is white,” said Samuel Gross, a University of Michigan Law School professor and a senior editor of the registry.
For Gross, unconscious bias, institutional discrimination, and explicit racism were factors in some of the wrongful convictions.
“On average, black murder exonerees spent three years longer in prison before release than white murder exonerees, and those sentenced to death spent four years longer,” said the report, entitled “Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States”.
As a result, in this article, Face2Face Africa presents to you some of the African Americans incarcerated wrongfully and gained freedom after serving decades in jail.