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Police or Prosecutor Misconduct Is at Root of Half of Exoneration Cases, Study Finds

Mr. Feinman, said that prosecutorial misconduct, which was detailed in the report, rarely garnered “the attention it deserves.”

“As few police officers as there are who are arrested and convicted of official misconduct, there are almost no prosecutors” who face such consequences, Mr. Feinman said, adding, “I’ve never heard of any prosecutor being arrested for misconduct, and almost no prosecutors are fired or disbarred for misconduct.”

The new report follows a 2017 study by the registry that found that Black people were more likely to be wrongfully convicted than their white counterparts, and more likely to spend more time in prison before being exonerated.

Kalfani Turè, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Quinnipiac University and a former police officer, said on Tuesday that the new report reinforced “what we know and understand, or we suspect, about race and policing and also prosecutorial misconduct.”

Dr. Turè, who is also the senior fellow of the Urban Ethnography Project at Yale, said the report was a tough condemnation of the criminal justice system, and it supported the Black Lives Matter critique that the system itself, from the point of entry with law enforcement officers to encounters with prosecutors, is rife with corruption, “and it seems to be of the racist sort.”

“In fairness, this report doesn’t make the case that both prosecutors and all police are somehow racist,” he said. “But it certainly demonstrates that there’s a disparity, and there’s a consistent disparity in the sort of wrongful convictions.”

Dr. Turè said he wasn’t shocked by the report, calling it “damning.”

“It’s consistent with what I know professionally,” he said. “But it’s also part of this sort of consistent outcry by members of the Black community and members of the Latinx community that corruption is in fact part of their experience.”

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