April 23, 2007 / 8:39 PM / 12 years ago

U.S. sees 200th DNA conviction reversal

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A man convicted of rape in 1982 was exonerated on Monday on the basis of DNA evidence, the 200th time in the United States that such technology has reversed a conviction, lawyers who worked for the man said.

“I want to get on with my life ... have a life,” said Jerry Miller, 48, after an appearance in Cook County Circuit Court where a judge tossed out his conviction at the request of prosecutors.

The New York-based Innocence Project, which has pursued such cases, said it marked the 200th DNA exoneration since 1989. Miller, it said, served 24 years in jail before a parole. In all the 200 people exonerated by DNA evidence served 2,475 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit, it said.

“They are just the tip of the iceberg. Nobody truly knows how many innocent people are in prison. Only a small fraction of cases involve evidence that could be tested for DNA and even among those cases, evidence is often lost or destroyed before it can be tested,” the group said.

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