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False Confessions

A Record Number Of People Were Exonerated In 2015 For Crimes They Didn’t Commit

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | Posted 02.03.2016 | Politics

The Netfilx hit true-crime series “Making a Murderer” leaves many people wondering: Just how common is the story of a wrongful convi...

Theft By Press Conference: Stealing A Defendant's Presumption of Innocence With Prejudicial Pre-Trial Publicity

Steve Drizin | Posted 01.29.2016 | Crime
Steve Drizin

Making A Murderer , Netflix's smash documentary series was a revelation, opening my eyes to many things about Steven Avery's case that I did not know before.

"Making A Murderer": Justice Weeps

Marsha Levick | Posted 01.21.2016 | HuffPost Home
Marsha Levick

Like thousands of others transfixed by the Netflix Documentary Making a Murderer, I was alternately struck by feelings of rage, shock, sadness, and ...

7 Terrifying Things 'Making A Murderer' Illustrates About American Justice

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | Posted 01.19.2016 | Politics

Netflix’s gripping true crime series “Making a Murderer” explores the complex case of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who was wrongfu...

Our Judicial System: Ignoring Injustice or Colluding in It?

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 01.18.2016 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

Prosecutors have the power to prevent almost all wrongful convictions by seeking the truth, not just a conviction. If the pursuit of justice were the only goal, innocent men and women would not find themselves collateral casualties.

'Making A Murderer' And Why Teens Make False Confessions

The Huffington Post | Erin Schumaker | Posted 01.16.2016 | Healthy Living

Netflix's latest true crime documentary, "Making A Murderer," has raised a lot of questions about guilt and innocence, and not just in the case of it...

Making an Accomplice: Why "Making a Murderer's" Brendan Dassey Deserves a Re-Trial--Even if His Uncle Doesn't

Michael Shammas | Posted 01.12.2016 | Crime
Michael Shammas

Like his uncle, Brendan may be guilty. Unlike his uncle, his conviction rests entirely on the coerced confession of a frightened, mentally-challenged boy badgered by grown men wielding badges and guns and uniforms and loud, firm voices.

Overturned: After 25 years, John Hincapie Is Freed

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 12.11.2015 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

The nightmare that John Hincapie had to endure lasted for a quarter century. It all started when he was 17 years old, when the police beat a false con...

Wrongful Convictions Then and Now: The Tragic Case of George Stinney, Jr.

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 11.05.2015 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

In 1944, George Stinney Jr., a 14-year-old African American, was charged with murdering two young white girls: Betty June Binnicker, 11 and Mary Emma Thames, seven. Their bodies were found stabbed to death in the lumber mill town of Alcolu.

The Myth Of The Central Park Five

The Daily Beast | Edward Conlon | Posted 01.03.2015 | Black Voices

The only time that I’m pretty sure that I locked up the wrong man was during a gang war in the South Bronx, a few years ago. There were five or six ...

Dealing With the Racial Nature of Wrongful Convictions

David A. Love | Posted 02.22.2015 | Black Voices
David A. Love

The wrongful convictions data coming from the Innocence Project provide all the proof we need that all things are not equal in the application of American justice. Justice is color coded, and truly a matter of black and white. Now is the time to change that.

False Confessions: A Review of 2014

Steve Drizin | Posted 02.17.2015 | Crime
Steve Drizin

2014 was a landmark year in false confessions. Here's my year-end list of highlights.

Amazing Grace

Steve Drizin | Posted 12.20.2014 | Crime
Steve Drizin

In my life as a lawyer, I've been privileged to play a role in exonerating a number of innocent men and women. But last week, as I sat in a Brooklyn courtroom, waiting for State Supreme Court Judge Matthew J. D'Emic to vacate the convictions of David McCallum and Willie Stuckey, I knew I was witnessing something special.

Police in Death Penalty States Must Be Required to Record Interrogations

Steve Drizin | Posted 11.23.2014 | Crime
Steve Drizin

The recent exonerations of Leon Brown and Henry Lee McCollum in North Carolina again underscore the need to require police to record interrogations of suspects.

The Truth About False Confessions

Jessica S. Henry | Posted 11.22.2014 | Crime
Jessica S. Henry

It is hard -- near impossible -- for most of us to believe that innocent people sometime falsely confess to committing horrible crimes. In fact, most people insist that they would never confess to a murder or rape that they did not commit. Not under any circumstances. But Henry Lee McCollum did.

Northwestern and Michigan Are Partners in the Pursuit of Justice for the Wrongfully Convicted

Steve Drizin | Posted 10.20.2014 | Crime
Steve Drizin

Although Michigan and Northwestern may battle one another in Big Ten sports, although our universities may fight each other for the best and the brightest students, we have become powerful partners in the pursuit of justice.

The Central Park $40 Million

Thea Johnson | Posted 08.27.2014 | Crime
Thea Johnson

The payoff for the rest of us will come if the very expensive lessons learned from the case prevent this kind of injustice from happening again.

Knox and Sollecito: Victims of a Prosecutor's 'Conspiracy Theories' to Explain Away DNA

Steve Drizin | Posted 04.14.2014 | Crime
Steve Drizin

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent of Meredith Kercher's murder. The easiest way for us to clarify their innocence is to examine the case in the context of our work on false confessions and the lessons we have learned from working in the Innocence Movement.

Guiltless Guilty Pleas

Joel Cohen | Posted 04.02.2014 | Crime
Joel Cohen

The dirty little secret in the administration of criminal justice is that sometimes -- indeed, way too often -- innocent people plead guilty.

All Eyes Will Be on New York in 2014 When It Comes to Police Interrogations and False Confessions

Steve Drizin | Posted 03.11.2014 | Crime
Steve Drizin

The New York Court of Appeals is a bellwether court, meaning that High Court's decisions in Aveni and Thomas are bound to have influence well beyond New York's borders. I'm hoping that the Court not only provides justice for Messrs. Aveni and Thomas, but crafts its decision in a way that helps to prevent future coerced and false confessions.

False Confessions: A Review of 2013

Steve Drizin | Posted 03.04.2014 | Crime
Steve Drizin

Here's wishing a Happy New Year to all innocent men and women who remain in prison as a result of false confessions or who have yet to be exonerated. May 2014 bring you the justice you so richly deserve.

Philly Finally Makes Good On a Promise to Record Interrogations and Confessions

Steve Drizin | Posted 02.21.2014 | Crime
Steve Drizin

The failure to record entire interrogations left police officers open to allegations of abuse, and over the years has led some Philly judges to toss out confessions and other juries to acquit potentially guilty defendants when defendants have claimed they were coerced.

Will the 'The Big Apple' Trump 'The Windy City' When It Comes to False Confessions?

Steve Drizin | Posted 02.04.2014 | Crime
Steve Drizin

Anxious detectives did not have the luxury of waiting for DNA results. Their orders were to close cases. The easiest way for them to do that was to pressure witnesses to make identifications, coerce confessions from suspects, or rely on snitches.

Confession Contamination in Cook County: Demonizing Youth in False Confession Narratives

Steve Drizin | Posted 01.25.2014 | Chicago
Steve Drizin

In Cook County's juvenile false confession cases, police officers and prosecutors have taken confession contamination to a new level. Not only did they feed facts to suspects, they scripted entire narratives for them.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning's Fall From Grace

Steve Drizin | Posted 01.23.2014 | Crime
Steve Drizin

There is nothing honorable about the way in which the Nebraska officers bullied a mentally impaired man into falsely confessing to a double murder. Mr. Bruning should be insisting that the Livers interrogation be required viewing for every law enforcement officer in Nebraska.