The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is outraged by the killing of George Floyd, as well as the treatment of many other victims of racially motivated police brutality.
For more than a decade we have represented wrongfully convicted and wrongfully incarcerated innocent men and women. Issues of race in the criminal justice system are central to our work. Of the eighteen clients that we have exonerated, thirteen are black men and women. Further, according to a nationwide study by the authoritative National Registry of Exonerations:
- African Americans are wrongfully convicted of murder at a substantially greater rate than white Americans;
- An analysis of the reasons for wrongful convictions reveals that witness tampering, predominately by police officers, occurred at nearly twice the rate in the prosecution of African Americans as whites;
- “Official misconduct” – abuses by prosecutors and police officers – occurs more frequently in the prosecution of black defendants than white defendants; and the difference was yet greater in capital cases.
At the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, we will continue to listen to the voices of our clients and others affected by systemic racism as we fight to prevent wrongful convictions and free the innocent.