With advancements in DNA technology and growing awareness of faulty eyewitness testimony and unreliable forensics, exonerations have been on the rise since 1989. In 2014 alone, the National Registry of Exonerations recorded 125 exonerations nationwide, and non-DNA exonerations rose to an all-time high of 103. But even after we learn that someone has been wrongfully imprisoned for years, we rarely hear from one important perspective: the victim of the crime.
For many victims, the revelation that the wrong person was sent to prison is devastating. “The day I learned of the exoneration was worse than the day I was assaulted,” Penny Beerntsen told The Marshall Project earlier this year. Beerntsen had identified Steven Avery — the subject of the Netflix documentary, “Making a Murderer” — as her rapist. He was exonerated after spending 18 years in prison.
To better understand the impact of exonerations on victims, we're reaching out to people who can speak directly and openly about their experiences. To do that, we need your help.
If you or a loved one was the victim of a crime in which the perpetrator was exonerated, please fill out the brief form below. One of our reporters will follow up.
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