Introduction to the GrassRoots Investigation Project           

The administration of the death penalty in the United States is plagued by injustice. The proof has become irrefutable. Individuals are being sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit, while some are being exonerated and released.

Mounting evidence of unfairness is so compelling that some death penalty supporters, such as Illinois Governor George Ryan, can no longer ignore it. In January of 2000, Governor Ryan announced a moratorium on executions in that state, just days after Illinois’ thirteenth death row inmate was exonerated. In so doing, Illinois became the first U.S. jurisdiction to suspend executions while it examines the administration of the death penalty.

This report is the first national effort to document cases of people executed despite compelling evididence of their innocence.

The GRIP report highlights the cases of 16 individuals who were executed, despite evidence that they might be innocent. The state and federal courts had every opportunity to determine whether the original conviction was wrong, but they failed to do so. These cases are a part of an alarming trend in the administration of justice in the U.S. in which the courts overwhelmingly favor efficiency over justice.. This trend has created a system of arbitrary justice and has left a trail of arbitrary executions in its wake.

 

Death row exonerations by state 

Documents

Read the introduction

Read the Entire Report

Read the Case Summaries

See the Case Charts

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