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Astonishing five percent of homicide and sexual assault cases are wrongful convictions, DNA evidence shows

Posted: June 19, 2012 |   Comments

New DNA testing in hundreds of old Virginia homicide and sexual assault cases supports the exoneration of at least 38 suspects, according to a study released Monday by a national policy group that examined the test results.

The institute's researchers found that in 5 percent of homicide and sexual assault cases, DNA testing ruled out the convicted person. If the scope is narrowed to just the sexual assault convictions, DNA testing eliminated between 8 percent and 15 percent of convicted offenders. The wrongful conviction rate previously had been estimated at 3 percent or less.

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