Category Archives: False confessions

Linda Fairstein: Central Park Five guilty as charged

The videotapes show that “the questioning [of the Central Park Five] was respectful, dignified, carried out according to the letter of the law and with sensitivity to the young age of the men. . . . If you spot the first sign of … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, False confessions | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Videotaping Interrogations: The Court of Appeals Blows It

  Ten years ago the Massachusetts high court, fed up with hearing “repeated pronouncements” about the fabulous benefits of recording police interrogations, decided to do something about it. Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista (2004).  Cops don’t record interrogations? Fine. But if the … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, False confessions, Humor, Judges, Law, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Let’s solve the Etan Patz case with a wrongful conviction

Martian: Greetings, Earthling. I am Professor tg/46# of the Inter-Galactic School of Law. Your Constitution and case law are stored in my lower P-5b.  I hear a Manhattan judge has just found the confession of a mentally ill man voluntary, even … Continue reading

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Prosecutors’ junta gets coal in its stocking for Christmas

Next month, the case of Adrian Thomas will be heard in the NY Court of Appeals.  Mr. Thomas was sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder of his infant son despite overwhelming medical evidence that the baby had suffered … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, False confessions, Law & Parody | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The interrogation industry: Part 2

A recent NIJ report found that if you collected all the decisions finding a confession voluntary because the suspect wasn’t handcuffed and was offered a Coke – they would make enough paper mache to cover the Great Wall of China. … Continue reading

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The interrogation industry: Part 1

Half a century ago the Supreme Court in Miranda v.  Arizona described with distaste the tricks and psychological manipulations recommended in police training manuals.  Quoting from the 1962 edition of Inbau & Reid’s Criminal Interrogation and Confessions, the Court described the ruse whereby … Continue reading

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Everything is voluntary. . . in its own wa-ay

Squawk’s idea of a treat is writing as a “friend” of the Court about what the Law oughta be.  With no page limit! We’re busily providing the Albany Seven with a lifetime supply of doorstops. Our pitch is that courts … Continue reading

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Courts are shocked, shocked, to learn of false confessions

A recent study by the Governor’s Task Force on Justice and Chopped Liver concluded that if you took all the decisions where courts twisted themselves into pretzels to uphold the voluntariness of confessions elicited by police ruses and deceptions and … Continue reading

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Videotaping police interrogations isn’t enough: Part 2

Imagine watching Shakespeare’s “Othello” without knowing what Iago is up to.   Fortunately, Iago’s soliloquies and asides clue in the audience that, while pretending to be Othello’s best friend, he’s manipulating Othello into a jealous rage so that he ends … Continue reading

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Videotaping police interrogations isn’t enough: Part I

Squawkers and others have been agitating for years to make the cops videotape police interrogations. Not just the final confession, but the whole thing, including all that “small talk” the cops always say they spent six hours engaging in before … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, False confessions, Law & Parody | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments