It’s unfortunate to say this, but the facts and statistics don’t lie: Being ‘nonwhite’ puts you at an increased risk of wrongful conviction by criminal courts in the United States. The problem is especially concerning for the black population.

Here’s what the statistics say about being black and wrongful conviction. Black community members only make up 13 percent of the United States population, nevertheless:

  • Wrongfully convicted of murder: 50 percent of those were black.
  • Wrongfully convicted of sexual assault: 59 percent of those were black.
  • Wrongfully convicted of child sexual assault: 25 percent of those were black.
  • Wrongfully convicted of robbery: 62 percent of those were black.
  • Wrongfully convicted of other nonviolent crimes: 36 percent of those were black.
  • Wrongfully convicted of drug crimes: 55 percent were black.
  • Wrongfully convicted of other nonviolent crimes: 22 percent were black.
  • Wrongfully convicted of all crimes in total: 47 percent were black.

Experts have a difficult time pinpointing the exact cause of the black community having a higher percentage of defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes they never committed. In many cases, experts blame the wrongful convictions on deliberate acts of racism, but in other cases they are unconscious acts of racism and the consequences of patterns of crime in different communities.

If you were wrongfully convicted of a crime as a black American, you may have the ability to fight for your legal rights in court, show that the conviction was inaccurate and be exonerated for your crimes. This could be important not only for your life, but for the lives of those who might be wrongfully convicted in the future.