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More than 500 people were wrongly imprisoned in Denver’s jails over seven years, with some spending weeks incarcerated or pleading guilty to crimes they did not commit before authorities realized they nabbed the wrong person, a federal court filing shows.The wrongful arrests in Denver occurred for a variety of reasons. Often those wrongly held had the same names as criminals, but authorities failed to check their dates of birth. Some were wrongly arrested because their identities had been stolen. In other cases, the last name matched but not the first or middle. Despite the city’s lack of a comprehensive system to track mistaken- identity arrests, the ACLU identified 503 such cases from 2002 into 2009 by combing through orders issued by judges, internal affairs records, arrest warrant logs and jail records. The ACLU maintains that many more cases exist but the city’s lack of a robust tracking system makes it impossible to get an accurate count.
For more, visit the Denver Post.