The cry “I’m innocent” is often ignored when it comes to Black felons in the United States. Whether it is rape, murder or a myriad of other felonies, Blacks seem to be the ones who have been wrongly convicted of crimes based on lies and stereotypes. However, there is a growing list of Black men who were falsely accused and now their innocence can be proven.
Thanks to DNA testing and the work of the The Innocence Project organization, these men are being reunited with family and loved ones, as their convictions are being overturned. According to The Innocence Project website, there have been 324 people exonerated for their crimes due to DNA testing. Of that number, 205 where black. The leading causes of the convictions for these individuals were the following:
Eyewitness misidentification testimony was a factor in 72 percent of post-conviction DNA exoneration cases in the U.S., making it the leading cause of these wrongful convictions. At least 40 percent of these eyewitness identifications involved a cross racial identification (race data is currently only available on the victim, not for non-victim eyewitnesses).
Unvalidated or improper forensic science played a role in 49 percent of wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA testing.
False confessions and incriminating statements led to wrongful convictions in approximately 27 percent of cases. Looking only at the homicide cases, false confessions are the leading contributor to wrongful convictions.
Informants contributed to wrongful convictions in 18 percent of cases.