Since 1973, 278 persons have been exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing.
The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have now been won in 33 states; since 2000, there have been 160 exonerations.
17 of those exonerated through DNA testing served time on death row.
The average length of time served by those exonerated by DNA testing is 12 years.
Nearly all of the 278 exonerations obtained through post-conviction DNA proceedings so far have involved similar facts and circumstances, including one or more of the following factors:
- - Fabricated or coerced confessions
- - Faulty forensic work
- - Mistaken identification (often caused by suggestive police practices)
- - False testimony from jail house informants
- - Police and prosecutorial suppression of exculpatory evidence.