Our criminal justice system is meant to protect defendants' rights. Many of our constitutional amendments were specifically written to guarantee certain rights for criminal defendants, including the right to due process of law, to have competent counsel, to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, to confront the evidence and witnesses against you and more.
According to the National Registry of Exonerations, at least 139 people were exonerated in 2017. These people had been convicted of criminal offenses and were then proven to be innocent of those offenses. Shockingly, 84 of the 139 wrongful convictions were the result of official misconduct. In 66 cases, no actual crime had been committed. Overall, these people lost 1,478 years of freedom.