Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Why the innocent end up in prison

NOTE: John Grisham is a writer best known for his popular legal thrillers. This piece was adapted from the foreword of "The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist."

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It is too easy to convict an innocent person.

The rate of wrongful convictions in the United States is estimated to be somewhere between 2 percent to 10 percent. That may sound low, but when applied to a prison population of 2.3 million, the numbers become staggering. Can there really be 46,000 to 230,000 innocent people locked away? Those of us who are involved in exoneration work firmly believe so.

Millions of defendants are processed

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