Welcome to the NYS Wrongful Conviction Database
The NYS Wrongful Conviction Database is a comprehensive compilation of the wrongfully convicted in New York State from 1891 to present. This database only contains the cases of individuals who were judicially exonerated or pardoned.
Complete Database Snapshot
Total Number of Exonerees: 275
Earliest Conviction: 1891
Earliest Exoneration: 1901
Total Number of Years Jailed: 2169.79
Average Years Jailed: 7.89
# of Historical Cases (prior to 1960): 38
Crime Most Wrongfully Convicted: Murder
# of Murder Cases: 138
Total Years Jailed for Murder: 1447.96
Average Years Jailed for Murder: 10.49
Total Number Sentenced to Death: 12
Total Number Sentenced to Life: 127
Longest Number of Years Jailed: 38
Longest Jailed Individual: David Bryant
Number Convicted due to*:
Discovery Withheld: 46
Official Misconduct: 109
Perjury/False Accusation: 93
Mistaken Witness ID: 78
False Confession: 34
Bad Science: 24
Other (only): 51
Unknown (only): 9
County with the Most Convictions: Kings
Total Number of Kings County Cases: 63
Total Years Jailed in Kings County: 656.03
Percentage of cases in Kings County: 22.99%
1) Only Judicially exonerated and pardoned individuals appear in the database. Twenty names were omitted due to lack of available information or judicial exoneration.
2) All percentages are calculated using the total number of wrongfully convicted except for Discovery Reform, which only uses the number of wrongfully convicted after 1963
3) Number of years served is a conservative estimate. In cases where the actual amount of time served was unavailable, an estimate was made using the conviction and exoneration dates. (this estimate does not include time spent per-conviction or post-exoneration) If an estimate could not be determined one year was placed in the field.
4) The following resources were used in compiling this database: Court of Appeals of the State of New York decisions, “Convicting the Innocent: sixty-five actual errors of the criminal justice system” by Edward M. Borchard, forejustice.org, reportermag.org, truthinjustice.org, Associated Press, Bluhm Legal Clinic; Center on Wrongful Convictions, The National Registry of Exoneration, Daily News, The Jeffery Deskovic Foundation for Justice, United States Court of Appeals; Second Circuit, “Innocent: Inside Wrongful Conviction Cases” by Scott Christianson, and the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division 1st Dept; 2nd Dept; 3rd Dept and 4th Dept.
*The reasons for conviction show all the cases which contained each reason. Please note that some cases included more than one reason and are included in multiple categories.
Updated 06/25/14 ©2014
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