"New York courts generated more than forty thousand felony convictions in 2007, and an additional 155,746 misdemeanor convictions. Roughly sixty-two thousand individuals are presently incarcerated in New York prisons and many more are in jail. Some of them are innocent. It is impossible to know precisely how many and who they all are. But there is no disputing that wrongful convictions occur. Even if guilty verdicts are usually, or almost always reliable, converting estimated error rates into absolute numbers produces a staggering total of wrongful convictions. An accuracy level as high as 99.5%, which by some projections is decidedly optimistic, would still mean that nearly one thousand innocent New Yorkers a year are convicted of crimes and in excess of eleven thousand of the nation’s incarcerated population (including well over eight hundred in New York) are in prison or jail for crimes they did not commit."
— James R. Acker & Catherine L. Bonventre, from Protecting the Innocent in New York: Moving Beyond Changing only Their Names, 72 Alb. L. Rev. 1245 (2010) (internal citations omitted).
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