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The Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law recently conducted an investigation on wrongful convictions in Illinois. The numbers in that state alone are astounding.

Wrongful convictions of men and women for violent crimes in Illinois have cost taxpayers $214 million and have imprisoned innocent people for 926 years, according to a seven-month investigation by the Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions.

The joint investigation, which tracked exonerations from 1989 through 2010, also determined that while 85 people were wrongfully incarcerated, the actual perpetrators were on a collective crime spree that included 14 murders, 11 sexual assaults, 10 kidnappings and at least 62 other felonies.

Although numerous factors contributed to the wrongful convictions in Illinois, the most common cause was governmental (police, prosecutor, or forensic expert) error or misconduct.

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