Innocence Database

Instructions: This data­base can be searched by name and fil­tered using any com­bi­na­tion of the search fil­ters below. All columns are sortable by click­ing the title at the top of the col­umn. To find out more about the cas­es on the list, click here. For more infor­ma­tion on the cri­te­ria for inclu­sion on DPIC’s Innocence List click here.


# — Refers to the chrono­log­i­cal order in which the defen­dants were exonerated.

State — Place of cap­i­tal conviction

Years Between — The dif­fer­ence between the year of exon­er­a­tion and the year of cap­i­tal conviction

Exoneration Procedure — Normally, when a con­vic­tion is over­turned by an appel­late court, the state has the option of re-try­ing the defen­dant. If the state does not seek a re-tri­al, charges are dis­missed. If a re-tri­al occurs and the defen­dant is found not guilty, the case is list­ed as an acquittal.

DNA evi­dence — refers to whether DNA evi­dence played a major role in exon­er­at­ing (“yes”) the defen­dant or not (“no”)


DPIC uses a num­ber of resources when adding cas­es to the above list, includ­ing court opin­ions, media cov­er­age, and con­ver­sa­tions with those direct­ly involved in the cas­es. The ear­li­er cas­es in the list are based heav­i­ly on the research of Hugo Adam Bedau and Michael L. Radelet. (See, e.g., Hugo Bedau and Michael Radelet, Miscarriages of jus­tice in poten­tial­ly cap­i­tal cas­es,” 40 Stanford Law Review 21 (1987); M.Radelet, H. Bedau, and C. Putnam, In Spite of Innocence, Northeastern University Press (1992); see also M. Radelet et al., Prisoners released from death rows since 1970 because of doubts about their guilt,” 13 Thomas M. Cooley Law Review 907 (1996)).