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NBC News: Government corruption and negligence drive most wrongful convictions, report finds

Monday, September 14, 2020  
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In the hallway of a Chicago public housing complex in the summer of 2008, a young man came face to face with a police sergeant known for planting drugs on people.

Sgt. Ronald Watts asked for money, and the man, George Almond, 28 at the time, said he didn’t have much, according to court documents and a synopsis of the case compiled by the National Registry of Exonerations. Then, Watts, who is Black, arrested Almond, also Black, for drug possession — and produced several small bags of heroin as evidence of a crime that hadn’t happened. Faced with the near-impossible task of proving the drugs had been planted, Almond pleaded guilty and spent 16 months in prison.

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