Some have been exonerated and some still languish behind bars. Some legal improvements have been instituted, like post-conviction DNA testing. But how many more innocent in prison are there? And how can we continue to improve the criminal justice system so we get rid of the systemic injustice of wrongful convictions all together.
One way the system has gotten it wrong in the past is by placing too much significance on supposed forensic hair "matches" between a defendant and hairs found at a crime scene. Because we now understand the limitations of such forensic analysis, the FBI is conducting a massive study of convictions that may have been tainted by it. They are looking at tens of thousands of old cases, including 27 death penalty cases, in which experts got on the stand and gave exaggerated testimony as to how conclusive a particular hair match was from a forensic point of view.
Hopefully the FBI study can provide key evidence to help vindicate and exconerate some of those wrongfully convicted who remain behind bars based on exaggerated forensic hair match testimony.
The short video Living Without Bars tells the story of how four wrongfully convicted men persevered for years with hope and spiritual fortitude until finally being released and exonerated.