(Vox) – Cooperation with law enforcement helped increase the number of Americans absolved of previous criminal convictions to 125 in 2014 — a record high since the National Registry of Exonerations began tracking such cases in 1989.
The figure surpassed the previous record of 91 in 2012 and 2013.
The registry’s report, released Tuesday, linked the rise in exonerations to special investigative teams that examine convictions based on coerced confessions, false testimony, and other instances of bad evidence. These units were particularly active in Houston and Brooklyn, where 40 people were exonerated for crimes ranging from drug possession to murder.
The first of these special units was founded in 2002, but at least 15 existed in 2014.