OVER 1,850 EXONERATED SINCE 1989
from U.S. prisons for crimes they did not commit.read the profiles
Through the efforts of the Innocence Network and others, over 340 men and women have been released from prison after serving years in prison for crimes they did not commit.read the profiles
While in many ways exemplary, Minnesota criminal procedure suffers from correctable flaws. One of these major flaws – identified early on – was the lack of evidence preservation policies, guidelines and statutes.
Biological evidence is among the most reliable evidence, yet it is frequently not preserved. IPMN has advocated for changes to preserve the biological evidence used to identify perpetrators. We have worked with many groups, including prosecutors and police, to make this happen. The result is better access to more evidence.
Our current policy focus is on creating a set of best practices for law enforcement for eyewitness identification procedures. These best practices include:
There remains more work to be done to prevent and remedy wrongful convictions, and there are a number of ways the criminal justice system can be fine tuned. Some of these ways require changes in laws; but others are best practices which can be adopted by criminal justice professionals, raised by defense attorneys, and considered by juries.
In many jurisdictions, false confessions are a problem, although in Minnesota this is mitigated by the required audio and videotaping of such confessions.
Many states are also implementing Criminal Justice Reform Commissions (Innocence Commissions) in light of the large number of exonerations. The CJRCs serve a number of purposes including: