“Between lawsuits and state statutes that award fixed compensation for wrongful convictions, state and municipal governments have paid out $2.2 billion to exonerees. That’s about what Americans spend every year to fight indigestion. Of course, this is nowhere near the total cost of wrongful convictions. To calculate that, you’d need to look at how much it costs to investigate, convict and imprison the wrong person; the effects the wrongful conviction had on that person, his or her family, and his or her community; and any crimes the real culprit committed after authorities apprehended the wrong suspect.
More than half the exonerees in the database have never been compensated.”
Opinion | Report: Wrongful convictions have stolen at least 20,000 years from innocent defendants
And municipal governments have paid out $2.2 billion to exonerees.