Which State Has the Most Wrongful Convictions?

Wrongful convictions shouldn’t happen, and yet they do. The negative effects of a wrongful conviction are so immense that they can be nearly impossible to overcome. While this legal wrong happens in every state of the nation, some states experience a higher percent of wrongful convictions. 

Regardless of the state in which they occur, wrongful convictions can have significant financial consequences, as victims often lose jobs, personal assets, and may be unable to earn a living even after they are exonerated. If you were wrongfully convicted, served time, and were exonerated, a pre-settlement funding company like USClaims may be able to help you meet your financial needs while your case is pending.

USClaims doesn’t loan you money but, instead, invests in qualified applicants’ cases, and the return on our investment is a predetermined portion of any settlement or court award you obtain. The financial risk is all ours, and If you don’t prevail at court, you owe us nothing. 

The Innocence Project

The Innocence Project succinctly answers the question of which state has the most wrongful convictions (as evidenced by exonerations), and that answer is the State of Illinois. Consider the following statistics:

  • In 2019, there were 143 exonerations for the wrongfully accused in the United States.
  • These exonerees spent a cumulative total of 1,908 years behind bars for crimes they were convicted of but did not commit.  
  • There were exonerations in 34 states and Washington, D.C., in 2019.
  • Illinois, with 30 exonerations, had far more than any other state – and nearly half of those exonerated had been framed by a group of corrupt officers.
  • The other states with the highest numbers of exonerations in 2019 include (in descending order) Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Michigan, California, Florida, and Maryland.

Wrongful Convictions: Common Causes

Every case of wrongful conviction is utterly unique to the person and the circumstances involved, but there are some categories of causation that are frequently cited, including:

  • Professional Misconduct – As mentioned regarding Illinois and its exceptionally high number of wrongful convictions that were predicated on framing, professional misconduct happens. Framing a suspect is a particularly egregious form of professional misconduct. Other forms can include overzealous interrogation techniques, buried exculpatory evidence (evidence that supports the defendant’s innocence), and much more. 
  • False Confessions – False confessions are not as rare as the public imagines, and they’re often a consequence of overzealous officers of the law who make confessing seem preferable to continuing with the interrogation. 
  • Junk Science – Some forms of evidence are upheld as scientific until they’re proven otherwise, and this type of evidence is often referred to as junk science. A good example is bite marks, which were once considered fairly conclusive. While this notion has been widely debunked, such evidence still makes its way into courtrooms. Since juries aren’t generally made up of 12 scientific sophisticates, junk science like this can play a critical role in wrongful convictions. 
  • Inadequate Defense – Fighting a criminal charge is an incredibly stressful experience, and since many defendants don’t have the resources to hire experienced criminal defense attorneys, they have to rely upon public defenders. While many public defenders are well-intentioned and extremely hard-working, they are routinely overworked and often fail to provide a robust defense – or even good advice – which can quickly translate to wrongful convictions.  

Pre-Settlement Funding from USClaims Can Help You Obtain Just Compensation 

If you are experiencing financial problems after a wrongful conviction, we may be able to help. 

At USClaims, we provide pre-settlement funding for qualified claimants in exchange for a prearranged percentage of the settlement reached or of the amount awarded by the court in each case. 

Importantly, we do not provide loans. Like other pre-settlement funding providers, USClaims works by purchasing a portion of the anticipated settlement of a case. In doing so, USClaims assumes all the risk; if the plaintiff loses the case, USClaims does not get its money back. If the plaintiff wins the case, the plaintiff’s attorney pays USClaims directly from the proceeds of the settlement.

To learn more or to apply for pre-settlement funding, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 1-877-USCLAIMS today.

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