Advocating for the Compensation of Wrongfully Convicted Individuals in Pennsylvania: Op-Ed in Philadelphia Print Works Zine

WORDS: K. CELESTE TRUSTY | ART: FAYE ORLOVE

A record 166 total exonerations occurred across America in 2016, and 2,006 total exonerations are on record in our country.

These statistics highlight a crisis within the criminal justice system that devalues human lives and undermines the very definition of justice.

Sixty state level exonerations have occurred in Pennsylvania, about one-third of which have occurred in Philadelphia county, which has been crippled by scandals involving sworn and elected officers of justice. Of Pennsylvania’s exonerees, nineteen were enduring life sentences, nine were given life without parole, and four were sentenced to be executed by the state for crimes they did not commit. The error rate for death penalty convictions is estimated at 4.1% and is estimated to be much higher for non-death penalty cases. This indicates at least seven innocent individuals are currently living on Pennsylvania’s death row, and presumably more than 2,100 innocent incarcerated persons statewide. These statistics highlight a crisis within the criminal justice system that devalues human lives and undermines the very definition of justice.  read more…

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