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US criminals exonerated in 2013 climbs to record high

Published on Feb 4, 2014 1:14 PM

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The number of US criminals exonerated last year climbed to a record high of 87, many of which were cleared due to DNA evidence or proof that the police forced a confession.

The states with the most exonerations last year were Texas, Illinois and New York, according to the National Registry of Exonerations, a project of the Centre on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Michigan Law School.

"Claims that were being ignored in a previous era are being given serious attention," said Mr Rob Warden, executive director of the Centre on Wrongful Convictions and co-founder of the registry.

An exoneration means a person is found innocent based on evidence not presented at his or her trial. This may include DNA evidence linking another person to the crime and evidence of perjury or false accusation.

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