Exonerations
 
Summary
Every year innocent people are incarcerated for crimes that they did not commit, and others are wrongfully convicted. The National Registry of Exonerations states that “an exoneration occurs when a person who has been convicted of a crime is officially cleared based on new evidence of innocence.”1 So far in the United States 2,624 people have been exonerated since 1989, 367 of whom have been exonerated with the use of DNA evidence.2 The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) is dedicated to providing justice and reversing instances of wrongful convictions whenever possible. Since 2018 the Philadelphia DAO’s Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) has exonerated 14 people who collectively were incarcerated for over 280 years. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is one of the few states that does not offer any compensation to those who have been wrongfully convicted.

Out of respect for the privacy of the exonerated, we have chosen not to include the names of the individuals on this page. To do your own research, we recommend consulting the University of Michigan’s National Registry of Exonerations for Philadelphia County.
Exoneree Race of exoneree Date of wrongful conviction Convicting
District Attorney
Date of exoneration Exonerating
District Attorney
Number of years
incarcerated3
Exoneree 1 Black November 2007 Abraham December 2016 Williams 9
Exoneree 2 Black December 1994 Abraham May 2017 Williams 24
Exoneree 3 Black September 1984 Rendell July 2017 Martin 33
Exoneree 4 Black July 2009 Abraham May 2018 Krasner 11
Exoneree 5 Black January 2012 Williams December 2018 Krasner 9
Exoneree 6 Black December 2009 Abraham March 2019 Krasner 11
Exoneree 7 Black September 2013 Williams April 2019 Krasner 7
Exoneree 8 Black September 2016 Williams May 2019 Krasner 6
Exoneree 9 Black May 1999 Rendell May 2019 Krasner 22
Exoneree 10 Black September 1995 Abraham June 2019 Krasner 25
Exoneree 11 Black May 1993 Abraham July 2019 Krasner 28
Exoneree 12 Black September 1998 Abraham July 2019 Krasner 22
Exoneree 13 Black February 1993 Abraham October 2019 Krasner 27
Exoneree 14 Black August 1993 Abraham December 2019 Krasner 30
Exoneree 15 Black August 1993 Abraham January 2020 Krasner 28
Exoneree 16 White October 1996 Abraham June 2020 Krasner 28
Exoneree 17 Black March 1989 Castille June 2020 Krasner 32
Notes

[1] National Registry of Exonerations: Glossary

[2] The Innocence Project: Exonerate the Innocent

[3] Number of years incarcerated includes time spent incarcerated pretrial.