...Adams, whose saga is featured in my book, “Stolen Years: Stories of the Wrongfully Imprisoned,” is one of the 1,700 people who have been exonerated in the United States since 1989. Though that number might seem impressive, consider that between 2.3 and 5 percent of men and women currently incarcerated in this country are not guilty of the crimes they were charged. That could put the number of the wrongfully convicted currently locked up time as high as 100,000.
Most of these people will serve their sentences to the end. This may happen because they’ve given up fighting or, more likely, because their fight is unwinnable for any number of reasons: The evidence was lost or destroyed, the fraudulent accuser refuses to recant, or they can’t find a lawyer to take their case.