138 People have been exonerated from death row in the United States since 1973Jerry Banks
Georgia Conviction: 1975
Charges Dismissed: 1980
Sentenced to death for two counts of murder. Banks' conviction was overturned on the basis of newly discovered evidence which was allegedly known to the state. (Banks v. State, 218 S.E.2d 851 (Ga. 1975)). Banks committed suicide after his wife divorced him. His estate won a settlement from the county for the benefit of his children.
Since 1973, 138 people on death row have been exonerated for innocence. Five were convicted and sentenced to death in Georgia.
This list includes individuals whose convictions were overturned and either were acquitted at re-trial or all charges were dropped, as well individuals who were given an absolute pardon by the governor based on new evidence of innocence. Click here the full list of exonerees.
Causes of Wrongful Conviction
[Source: Death Penalty Information Center]
NOTE: Most cases involved more than one cause, so the total number of causes listed below is greater than 86
In 2001, the Center for Wrongful Conviction at Northwestern University Law School studied the causes of wrongful conviction in 86 death row cases. They found a number of causes, including:
[Full Report (PDF)]