Butler-Smith and another death-row exoneree, Randal Padgett, spoke to an audience at Gonzaga University on Wednesday night – including many young students who are the same age that Butler-Smith was as she sat on death row. Her story is far from unique. Since 1973, 159 Americans have been exonerated following death-penalty convictions. Three of those came in the past year. Stefanie Anderson, communications director for Witness to Innocence, noted the most common reasons for exonerations: eyewitness errors, bad science, snitch testimony and inept lawyering. READ MORE.