National Registry of Exonerations – Annual Report 2021

EXONERATIONS. The Registry recorded 161 exonerations in 2021.

YEARS LOST TO WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT. In 2021, exonerees lost an average of 11.5 years to

wrongful imprisonment for crimes they did not commit — 1,849 years in total for 161 exonerations.

OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT. Official misconduct occurred in at least 102 exonerations in 2021. Fifty-nine homicide cases — 77% of murder and manslaughter exonerations in 2021 — were marred by official misconduct.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROFESSIONAL EXONERATORS. Professional exonerators — Innocence Organizations (IOs) and Conviction Integrity Units (CIUs) — continued to play essential roles. Jointly, they were responsible for 97 exonerations, 60% of the total. IOs and CIUs worked together on 31 of these exonerations in 2021. IOs took part in 67 exonerations, and CIUs helped secure 61 exonerations

www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Documents/NRE Annual Report 2021.pdf

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