Exonerate

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  • To pronounce a person previously convicted of a crime factually innocent. Despite safeguards to help ensure that only the guilty are convicted of criminal offenses, wrongful convictions do occur, and innocent people are sentenced for crimes that they did not commit. Exonerations, or legal pronouncements of actual innocence, serve to remedy miscarriages of justice. Organizations such as the Innocence Projects, state innocence commissions, and the 2004 Justice for All Act provide convicted offenders who proclaim their innocence avenues for seeking exoneration. Since 1976, more than 125 death row inmates have been exonerated, and since 1992, 200 convicted offenders have secured exonerations through DNA evidence.

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