About the Registry

The National Registry of Exonerations is a project of the University of Michigan Law School. It was founded in 2012 in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The Registry provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989—cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence.

Exoneration News

12/16/2014

​More than two decades after 18-year-old Hugiltu was executed in China for rape and murder, the Inner Mongolia Higher People's Court has exonerated him posthumously. Hugiltu (his full name) confessed in 1996, after 48 hours of interrogation, and was executed just 61 days after the crimes occurred. The Deputy President of the Court now says that the verdict was inconsistent with the evidence, issued a public apology and personally donated 30,000 yuan (about $4,800) to Hugjiltu's family. Two days after the exoneration, the police officer who interrogated Hugiltu was arrested and charged with torture to coerce a confession, dereliction of duty and taking bribes. Many confessions in criminal cases in China are obtained by questionable practices. Some international experts hope this case will be a catalyst that improves investigations in a country where an estimated 2,400 people were executed last year. Others fear that without more transparency in criminal prosecutions, little progress will be made.

The Registry includes 20 American exonerees who were sentenced to death after falsely confessing.

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We currently list more than 1,490 exonerations. For detailed information browse our ever-growing database.

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For reports, graphs, summaries of our findings, criteria for exoneration, and more visit our Learn More section.


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