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Black People Face Wrongful Murder, Assault Convictions More Often: Study

Image: Black People Face Wrongful Murder, Assault Convictions More Often: Study

Black people are handed wrongful convictions for serious crimes more than others and were exonerated more often, according to a new study at the University of Michigan. (Oneword/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Mar 2017 06:20 PM

A new study of exonerations for serious crimes showed black people were given wrongful convictions of murder and sexual assault more than whites and others, even when accounting for other demographic factors.

The study by the University of Michigan law department looked at almost 2,000 exonerations during a period of close to 30 years and found that even though blacks had a high rate of murder convictions, they had an even higher rate of exonerations, for a variety of reasons.

Blacks accounted for about 40 percent of the murder convictions for the time period, but nearly 50 percent of the exonerations, according to The New York Times.

The report found a variety of causes for the disparity, including eyewitness error rates being higher with black suspects, misconduct such as hiding evidence or witness tampering, and police misconduct.

Racism may be a factor in any or all of these other causes, CNN reported.

According to the study, innocent blacks were seven times more likely to be convicted of murder than innocent whites, CNN reported. Cases where a black defendant was convicted wrongly were also 22 percent more likely to have police misconduct involved than those with white defendants.

Black people also waited an average of three years longer to be exonerated than their white counterparts, the study found. Thirty-one percent of blacks exonerated had been convicted of killing white people, even though only 15 percent of murders committed by blacks involve a white victim, The New York Times reported.

Not all were convinced that the numbers showed racism, however.

Others just wondered why it had taken people so long to realize this.

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A new study of exonerations for serious crimes showed black people were given wrongful convictions of murder and sexual assault more than whites and others, even when accounting for other demographic factors.
black, people, wrong, murder, convictions
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2017-20-07
Tuesday, 07 Mar 2017 06:20 PM
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