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Why More Falsely Accused People Are Being Exonerated Than Ever Before

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For the third year in a row, the number of exonerations in the United States has hit a record high. A total of 166 wrongly convicted people whose convictions date as far back as 1964 were declared innocent in 2016, according to a report from the National Registry of Exonerations released Tuesday. On average, there are now over three exonerations per week—more than double the rate in 2011. The number of exonerations has generally increased since 1989, the first year in the National Registry’s database. There are 2,000 individual exonerations listed in the registry as of March 6.

How a Judge's Bias Can Taint a Case

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Many legal experts agree that one of the biggest threats to our nation’s system of justice are judges, who, through a lack of proficiency, bias or corruption, prevent a litigant from getting a fair hearing in our courts. Judges in local, state, and federal courts across the country oftentimes hide their connections to litigants and their lawyers. These links can be social, political, financial, or ideological. In some instances the judge may have mutual investment interests with a litigant or lawyer. The judge might be related somehow to one of the parties. Although such situations cannot always be avoided, when they do create a perception of bias, a judge has the duty to at least disclose that information. If the situation creates an actual bias, the judge should allow a different judge to take over.

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