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National Registry of Exonerations Issues 2013 Report

The National Registry of Exonerations just announced that 2013 was a record-breaking year for exonerations in the United States. At least 87 people were exonerated and granted their freedom in connection with crimes they did not commit, the highest number since researchers began keeping track of exonerations more than 20 years ago. A number of these individuals spent decades in prison before their release.

In the past, most exonerations resulted from DNA evidence. Now, more exonerations are occurring after authorities recognize that a number of convictions resulted from faulty identifications and also coerced or false confessions. The Registry's report noted that law enforcement agencies and prosecutors have been showing a greater willingness to investigate themselves. Only one-fifth of the 2013 exonerations relied on newly tested DNA. More than 30 percent occurred because law enforcement agencies re-opened long-closed cases or handed over their records to others who wanted to investigate. In large district attorneys' offices, such as New York, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles, "conviction integrity units" have been started with the sole function of reviewing old cases and ensuring that the agency prosecuted and convicted the right person.

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    Fred G., whose father had mesothelioma
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  • "Thank you for your concern of my well-being every time I spoke with you. It always meant so much. I hear nothing but awful stories of dealing with attorneys and their offices, but I have had nothing but positive experience. You have many special ways of working with people in need of help. Words can never express the way your support has been so helpful. I pray you will continue to help others. I wish you all the best."

    Mary C
  • "Forest, once again, my family and I thank you for obtaining another settlement on behalf of my Father. It's almost uncanny that these checks seem to come at very opportune times. This one comes as we are expecting our fourth grandchild. It will provide her some sound footing towards her future college education, plus help Mom and Dad with the medical expenses. Sometimes, I think my Dad is helping you guys with this. Maybe so. Anyway, thank you again for your hard work."

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    Larry A.
  • "Thank you for the work you have done for Carl and our family. We so much appreciate your sincere professionalism and kindness you showed us. I know Carl is smiling right now and the Lord has blessed us through you. May God bless you."

    Connie M. whose husband Carl worked as a brakeman for CSX Transportation and died of mesothelioma
  • "Thank you for always making me feel welcome and at ease in your office. I respect the work you do and your enthusiasm for it and am grateful for your talents."

    Tracy M.
  • "I would like to leave a testimonial thanking Steven and Allison for their care and understanding. Steven's pursuit and success in getting some compensation for our loss. A final closure of our loss of brother Mike. Thanks to Martin & Jones for looking after Mike's care since his injury in 2005. You have been there for Mike and his family for a long time. Mike passed in 2016 and you stood for the family up to the present (July 2017). Many thanks."

    Dan I.
  • "We would like to express our gratitude to you (Hunt Willis) for accepting our case. First of all, when I called this law firm, a very sweet and kind lady answered the telephone and gave me assurance by asking and going over the accident with me, while my husband was in the hospital. I felt assured I was doing the right thing for us. She was so helpful in so many ways. What a professional lady. Secondly, we are much pleased that you have settled this case with the insurance company to receive the proper amount to assist us in so many ways. My husband and I are very happy with you and the firm in handling our case. You made us have confidence in your professional and integrity along with your assistant Ms. Routh, when you both came to see us in our home, in which we saw your compassion and thoughtfulness at that time. We will never forget what you have done for us, and we thank the lord for directing me to contact this firm. I’m glad I did."

    Linda.

"Thank you for your concern of my well-being every time I spoke with you. It always meant so much. I hear nothing but awful stories of dealing with attorneys and their offices, but I have had nothing but positive experience. You have many special ways of working with people in need of help. Words can never express the way your support has been so helpful. I pray you will continue to help others. I wish you all the best."

Mary C
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