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Figure 2. The Relationship Between Forensic Science and Other Contributing Factors in Erroneous Convictions


Figure 2 is a bar graph showing the relationship when forensic science is cited as a contributing factor along with other contributing factors — inadequate legal defense, perjury or false accusation, false confession, official misconduct, and mistaken witness identification. The most significant number of wrongful convictions in which forensic science is considered a contributing factor is attributable to eyewitness misidentification and official misconduct.

The data points shown on the bar graph are as follows:

Contributing Factor Number of Cases
Forensic Only 3
Inadequate Legal Defense 15
Perjury or False Accusation 62
False Confession 36
Official Misconduct 77
Eyewitness Misidentification 83

Data are based on 133 cases of wrongful conviction listed by the National Registry of Exonerations.