© 1998-2015 The Justice Institute -- (Justice Denied is a trade name of The Justice Institute)

© 1998-2017 The Justice Institute -- (Justice Denied is a trade name of The Justice Institute)

2015 Innocents Database Exoneration Report


The 2015 Innocents Database Exoneration Report is now available online! The Report is a PDF document. Click here to read the 2015 Innocents Database Exoneration Report online, or download it.


The following is from the Report’s Introduction:


This is the first yearly report of information recorded in the Innocents Database through the last calendar year – 2015. The Innocents Database is an ongoing independent non-profit project begun in 1997 that records every documentable exoneration in the United States and every other country. The Innocents Database is online at www.justicedenied.org/innocentsdatabase.htm and it can be accessed from Justice Denied’s website at www.justicedenied.org. This Report is compiled from information available in the database online.


The database includes 6,181 cases – 3,819 U.S. cases and 2,362 international cases – that were concluded through December 31, 2015.


Since the Innocents Database was founded there has been a continuing increase in the reporting of cases in accessible digital form. That has resulted in more cases being included for recent years. However, that doesn’t mean more people being exonerated today than ten or twenty years ago, it is only is easier to find a larger number of recent exoneration cases. For example, Table 18 lists 316 U.S. cases and 203 international cases for 2015, and 83 U.S. cases and 96 international cases for 2005. There may have been a comparable number of exonerations in 2005 as 2015 – but finding and identifying contemporary cases is less challenging than 2005 cases, much less cases in 1995 or 1975.


Nevertheless, the 3,819 U.S. cases listed in the database through 2015 – 2,939 cases from 1989 to 2015 and 880 cases prior to 1989 – provide data that can be useful to make general observations and identify possible trends.


The Report includes 21 Tables. Most of the Tables include information about U.S. cases for the years 1989 to 2015, and pre-1989, and several include information about international cases:


Table 1. Number of Exonerated People By State  (U.S.)

Table 2. Number of Exonerated People By Type of Crime  (U.S.)

Table 3. Number of Exonerated People By Jurisdiction  (U.S.)

Table 4. Number of Exonerated People By Sex/Type  (U.S.)

Table 5. Number of Exonerated People by Race/Ethnicity  (U.S.)

Table 6. Number of Exonerated People By Primary Types of Exculpatory Evidence  (U.S.)

Table 7. Number of Exonerated People By Conviction Method  (U.S.)

Table 8. Number of Exonerated People Convicted After More Than One Trial  (U.S.)

Table 9. Number of State Prisoners Exonerated After Federal Habeas Granted  (U.S.)

Table 10. Number of Exonerated People Convicted By Primary Types of Prosecution Evidence  (U.S.)

Table 11. Number of Exonerated Persons Involved In A Case With A Co-Defendant  (U.S.)

Table 12. Number of Exonerated People Aided By Conviction Integrity Unit  (U.S.)

Table 13. Number of Exonerated People By Years In Custody (U.S.)

Table 14. Average Years Exonerated Person Was In Custody Before Release (U.S. & Int.)

Table 15. Average Years Exonerated Person Was In Custody Before Release (Homicide or Sexual Assault only) (U.S. & Int.)

Table 16. Average Years Exonerated Person Was In Custody Before Release (NON-Homicide or Sexual Assault only) (U.S. & Int.)

Table 17. Number of Exonerated People By County (10 or more) (U.S.)

Table 18. Number of Exoneration Cases By Year  (U.S. & Int.)

Table 19. Number of Exonerations Involving DNA Evidence By Year (U.S. & Int.)

Table 20. Number of Exonerated People By Country – International Cases

Table 21. Number of Exonerated People By Type of Crime  (International)


Click here to read the 2015 Innocents Database Exoneration Report online, or to download it.


© 1998-2015 The Justice Institute -- (Justice Denied is a trade name of The Justice Institute)

© 1998-2017 The Justice Institute -- (Justice Denied is a trade name of The Justice Institute)