"Nonetheless, African Americans are about five times as likely to go to prison for drug possession as whites - and judging from exonerations, innocent black people are about 12 times more likely to be convicted of drug crimes than innocent white people".
African-American prisoners who were convicted of murder are about 50 percent more likely to be innocent than other convicted murderers.
"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 who is senior editor of the group that tracks USA exonerations.
What's more, misconduct was present in more cases involving black defendants than in cases with white defendants, at a rate of 76 percent compared to 63 percent in murder cases and 79 percent as compared to 51 percent for sexual assault.
The report examines exonerations for defendants who had been wrongly convicted of murder, sexual assault and drug crimes since 1989.
Chillingly, black prisoners later exonerated of the crimes for which they were convicted were 22% more likely to have been targeted by police misconduct, a function of everything from malevolent individual racism by law enforcement and prosecutors to institutional discrimination.
Researchers found that a major cause of this disparity was mistaken identification by white victims.More news: Meet Young Jack Sparrow In The New Pirates Of The Caribbean Trailer
Here, to, some convictions that ended up in exonerations were marred by implicit bias, racially tainted official misconduct and, in some cases, explicit racism, it added.
Most wrongful convictions are never discovered. On average, innocent African Americans convicted of sexual assault spent nearly four-and-a-half years longer in prison before exoneration than innocent whites, according to the report. "Only about 15% of murders by African Americans have white victims, but 31% of innocent African-American murder exonerees were convicted of killing white people". Black men were responsible for 13 percent of sexual assault cases involving white victims, but 57 percent of sexual assault exonerees involving a white victim were black.
There were 166 exonerations in 2016, an average of three per week ― the most since the analysis began in 1989 and double the number in 2011, the National Registry of Exonerations annual report finds. There have been 2,000 known exonerations in the USA since 1989. "It appears that innocent black sexual assault defendants receive harsher sentences than whites if they are convicted, and then face greater resistance to exoneration even in cases in which they are ultimately released".
Why? Police enforce drug laws far more vigorously in predominately black neighborhoods than in white, which means black people are more likely to be stopped and searched, increasing both the overall arrest rate and the wrongful conviction rate.
"Why do police officers who conduct these outrageous programs of framing innocent drug defendants concentrate on African Americans?" These were mostly drug cases but also some child sex abuse cases. It was the third consecutive year with a record number of exonerations.
A reader examining the studies can not help but come away with the impression that government official misconduct combined with the obsession with the drug war (which feeds the need for results, which therefore encourages the misconduct) play a massive role in putting innocent people away. He was one of 52 people exonerated for murder in 2016, according to a new report.
There now are about 2,900 people on death rows around the country, of whom; under that formula, about 120 are likely to have been wrongfully convicted.