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Errors in Misdemeanor Adjudication – 18 June 2018
There are millions of misdemeanor convictions each year in the United States. They make up the great majority of all criminal convictions, but only about 4% of exonerations (85/2,145, as of the end of 2017). The reason is simple: exonerations are expensive, time-consuming affairs. The scarce resources they require are generally reserved for convictions that send innocent people to prison for many years. Nearly all the few misdemeanor exonerations we know about depended on unlikely events that made the process cheap and simple—usually forensic tests that police conducted for their own purposes; sometimes previously unknown videos, or criminal investigations of dishonest police officers. These fortuitous opportunities have produced clusters of misdemeanor exonerations, but without the benefit of such rare events, innocent defendants convicted of misdemeanors are just out of luck. Read more.

Why So Few Misdemeanor Exonerations? – 6 October 2015
Fewer than 2% of the exonerations in the Registry—28 out of 1,671 as of October 2015—are for misdemeanors, despite the fact that they make up at least 80% of criminal convictions in the United States. So why so few misdemeanor exonerations? Read more.