How Many People Are Wrongfully Convicted?

Far too many people are wrongfully convicted in the United States each year, which means that far too many people suffer consequences for crimes they didn’t commit. It’s a difficult truth to accept, as more and more of these wrongful convictions have come to light in recent years. 

Unfortunately, being exonerated after a wrongful conviction does not mean your life gets put back together as it was. Many people who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes suffer significant financial losses and may be unable to meet even their basic needs. Pre-settlement funding companies like USClaims are here to help by providing litigation funding to individuals with pending wrongful conviction cases who qualify. If you prevail on your wrongful conviction case, we receive a prearranged portion of the amount as a return on our investment. If you receive nothing, you owe us nothing. 

The Number Is Staggering

According to the Chicago Tribune, it is far too easy to convict an innocent person in the United States, and an estimated 2 to 10 percent of all convictions are wrongful. When this percentage is applied to the 2.3 million people who were incarcerated at the time the article was written in 2018, it amounts to between 46,000 and 230,000 innocent people behind bars,  a staggering number by any account. Once convicted, there are few resources or mechanisms available for righting this legal wrong; a wrongful conviction suit is one of them. 

Why Wrongful Convictions Happen

Every wrongful conviction follows its own unique course, but there are several common reasons that may contribute to these legal travesties, including:

  • Prosecutorial Misconduct – Every profession has some members that are not on the up and up, and prosecutors and judges are no exceptions. While most legal professionals are hardworking and adhere to the rules, some do not. When they engage in practices such as encouraging witnesses to perjure themselves on the stand; hiding or ignoring exculpatory evidence (evidence that supports the defendant’s innocence); using expert witnesses who spout junk science; and/or lying to jurors, defense lawyers, and/or judges, they help to put innocent people behind bars.
  • Incorrect Eyewitness Testimony – People who witness violent crimes often have difficulty accurately remembering the sequence of events and the people involved. Our memories are not as exact as we like to think, and both physical and photo lineups organized by the police (who may guide witnesses to focus on a chosen suspect) can exacerbate the problem. 
  • False Confessions – As difficult as it is to believe, false confessions are very real. Jurors, however, often have a difficult time accepting this fact. The effects of being interrogated relentlessly for hours upon hours can make a false confession seem preferable to continuing to be interrogated. In fact, of the more than 300 people who were exonerated as a result of DNA evidence in the years from 1989 to 2015, about 1 in 4 falsely confessed (almost all quickly recanted). 
  • Inadequate Legal Representation – The fact is that the many people who are accused of serious crimes aren’t financially equipped to hire their own attorneys and must, therefore, rely upon public defenders who may be overworked or inexperienced. Mounting a solid legal defense generally requires an experienced legal team, and relying upon one court-appointed lawyer may not allow a defendant much of a chance.   

USClaims Offers Pre-Settlement Funding that Can Help

If you were wrongfully convicted and have been exonerated, there is a good chance that you are experiencing financial problems and would like to obtain your settlement or award sooner rather than later. USClaims may be able to help. We provide qualified applicants with the pre-settlement funding they need in exchange for a prearranged portion of their settlements or court awards. This funding acts as an investment in your case, and we take on the financial risk. If you do not prevail at court, we take a loss on our investment – and you don’t owe us anything. To learn more or to apply, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 1-877-USCLAIMS today.

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