Following a long period of wrongful imprisonment case after wrongful imprisonment case, the federal government has created a federal investigative unit for wrongful convictions.
The unit, called the Conviction Integrity Unit, was formed after a 4-year period of the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigating more than 2000 cases from the 1980s and 1990s using the relatively-new fiber and hair analysis techniques.
The information they found so far has led to at least a handful of exonerations for individuals who have been in prison since the 80s. Two North Carolina men were exonerated of rape and murder charges, a Washington DC man was exonerated of murder, and another Washington DC man was exonerated of rape and murder as well. All four of the men were released, and the true perpetrators of the crimes were caught.
According to U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr, “this new unit will work to uncover historical injustices and to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to prevent such tragedies in the future.” So, not only are the investigators looking into exonerating those who have already been wrongfully convicted, but they will be attempting to take what they have learned and apply it forward, so as to prevent problems like this from ever happening again.