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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Ohio Taking a 2nd Look at 83 Cases of Wrongfully Convicted Inmates

Wrongfully convicted man in prison

Columbus, OH — The state of Ohio is making a move to review the cases of 83 people who have been wrongfully convicted in the state since 1989. The state hopes to minimize the number of wrongful convictions that greatly affect the lives of innocent people who are sent to jail for crimes they did not commit.

A Task Force on Conviction Integrity and Postconviction Review has been established to look at the wrongful convictions in Ohio, as a result of mistaken eyewitness identifications, coerced false confessions, misconduct by police and prosecutors, and misleading forensic evidence.

“We know from exoneration data that justice isn’t always served in our state, and this task force would be a great first step in making improvements,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said in a statement, according to Akron Beacon Journal.

Out of the 83 total, 32 of those were convicted of murder, 8 of which were once on death row. They represent a combined 888 years of lives behind bars or an average of 10.6 years each. They are expected to be compensated after losing years of their lives in prison.

Since 1981, the state of Ohio has paid out a total of $30.7 million in damages for wrongful imprisonment to 57 freed prisoners, which amounts to only about $55,046 per year.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Innocence Project, led by its co-founder Mark Godsey, has been working to help free those who are wrongfully convicted, citing the risk to public safety if the justice system continues jailing innocent people.

“Every time you convict an innocent person, the true perpetrator remains on the streets to commit more crimes,” he said.