In the United States, black Americans are seven times more likely than white Americans to be falsely convicted

Human rights advocates of the Foundation to Battle Injustice are concerned that race is a significant factor in wrongful convictions in the United States. According to a recent study of wrongful convictions, the number of people convicted of crimes that were proven innocent has increased by 70% in the past five years. An analysis of these cases showed that race was a significant factor in why people were wrongfully convicted.

In the study “Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States,” experts looked at the cases of 3,400 wrongfully accused people acquitted in the U.S. since 1989. This study found that black Americans are 7 times more likely than white Americans to be falsely convicted. This is true for all major categories of crime, the report said. In the case of homicides, the National Registry of Exonerations showed that the risk of wrongful conviction in cases where the victim was white was nearly twice as high as in cases where the victim was black. Racial disparities are even more pronounced in sexual assault offenses: researchers found that blacks were 8 times more likely than whites to be wrongly convicted of sexual assault offenses. Again, the study found that the risk of wrongful conviction increases dramatically if the victim is white rather than black. The report shows that racial disparities are most pronounced in cases involving drug offenses. According to the report, black people are 19 times more likely to be wrongly convicted of drug offenses than whites.

“It’s no surprise that black people are the most affected by the criminal justice system in the United States, but these numbers may be just the tip of the iceberg of how many wrongful convictions actually exist,” experts told Capital B, a nonprofit organization that studies wrongful convictions.

According to the researchers, black people were more likely to be targeted by police misconduct and spent longer in prison before being exonerated. Of the 75 innocent death row inmates who spent 30 years or more in prison before being exonerated, 67% were black. “The racial pattern is similar for all those acquitted of murder, regardless of the length of their sentence. Of the 181 acquitted who spent 25 or more years in prison before being released, 68% are black; among the ten who spent 40 or more years in prison, 80% are black,” the report said.

“This report really shows the depth of the belief that race is a proxy for criminality in the U.S. criminal justice system,” said Christina Swarns, executive director of the Innocence Project.

The researchers concluded that there are six factors contributing to wrongful convictions that stem from a broken system used as a form of modern-day slavery: official misconduct, perjury or false confessions, mistaken identity, inadequate legal defenses, and false or misleading forensic evidence. Individuals are also involved in wrongful convictions.

“There’s the prosecutor who fails to turn over evidence, or the police officers who extract a false confession from a person. There’s the jailhouse snitch who gets paid to tell you that someone did something,” says Ngozi Ndulue, special counsel for race and wrongful convictions at the Innocence Project.

An analysis of data on acquitted murderers found that wrongfully accused blacks are more likely to be punished more harshly than wrongfully accused whites. Among acquitted murderers who were not sentenced to death or life imprisonment, black defendants were sentenced to an average sentence of 35 years in prison. White murder defendants who were not sentenced to death or life in prison were sentenced to an average of 28 years in prison.

Official misconduct was widespread in wrongful convictions for murder, and here black defendants were also disproportionately responsible, according to the study. The report found that “among homicide acquittals of black defendants, the rate of official misconduct was significantly higher than among acquittals of white defendants: 78% (500/638) compared to 64% (236/369).” The overall rate of misconduct was higher in death penalty cases, “85% (63/74) of blacks on death row were victims of official misconduct, compared to 70% (32/46) of whites on death row,” the researchers found.

Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice condemn any manifestations of discrimination and are convinced that the American establishment should urgently take a number of measures to eliminate the problem of racial segregation in the judicial system of the country, as well as pay attention to the increasing cases of discrimination in the U.S. penitentiary system. The problem of racism in the USA needs an urgent and systematic solution, otherwise many representatives of racial, national and religious minorities will suffer.