What makes for wrong convictions? Data for believers of “near perfect” forensics in US courts

5_13-2015 ContribFactors copy


Updated graphs of investigation and prosecution contribution factors  in nearly 1600 exonerations proved by the National Registry of Exonerations.  (wait a bit for download, scroll down for other stats).

Look for GREEN: False or Misleading Forensic Evidence 23% 363/1597

Look for ORANGE: False Confession 13% 202/1597

Look for Red: Perjury or False Accusation 56% 888/1597

Look for Purple: Official Misconduct 46% 727/1597

Look for Blue: Mistaken Witness ID 34% 535/1597


For a contrasting opinion, you can read this.




About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What makes for wrong convictions? Data for believers of “near perfect” forensics in US courts

  1. John Lentini says:

    I think it is time, in the interest of fairness, to include a category of “ineffective assistance of counsel” in the contributing factors for a wrongful conviction. Of course, some of the classes of error listed happen upstream of the trial, but if we are looking at perjury and prosecutorial misconduct, we should look into defense counsel’s effectiveness as well.

  2. csidds says:

    Im in total agreement. Lets pass this factor idea on to the Registry.

  3. csidds says:

    Ok. Regarding “Ineffective assistance of counsel” factors, here is how to access the information.
    To get to it, And thanks to the Registry of Exons for helping on this.

    Go to the Browse cases button on the website and select either detailed or summary view. In either view there are columns that you can choose. In summary view, select the contributing factors column and there is a drop down menu…select Inadequate legal defense.

    On the detailed page each factor gets its own column. same deal–select ILD.

  4. csidds says:

    Reblogged this on FORENSICS in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends and commented:

    The Los Angeles Times just came out with a deeper look into the Registry of Exonerations’ newest data. An excerpt , then the link.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s