Convicting the Innocent

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7 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    The documentary and book about the Central Park Five is recommended here. I’m reading the book now and it’s fairly depressing among other things.

  2. The judge’s comment, “What issue could possibly be resolved by DNA testing?”, bespeaks a common judicial bias concerning forensic evidence that continues to admit virtually any forensic testimony offered by the prosecution. The cognitive bias Simon speaks of in his book pervades the bench as well, on which many judges seem to, consciously or not, regard themselves as part of the law enforcement system rather than the judicial system.

  3. Brandon Garrett says:

    One does wonder whether there is a double standard in forensics concerning exculpatory versus inculpatory evidence. Exonerees had to fight for years in the 1990s to get access to DNA tests that might prove innocence, and some still face protracted litigation. The defense often lacks access to basic bench notes and documentation of prosecution forensics. And then there is whether judges carefully review the validity and reliability of prosecution forensics.

    This judge apparently later had something of a change of heart, after Jones’ exoneration, at least about DNA as a “tremendous tool.” If interested, here is more from the Chicago Tribune.

  4. Doug Keene and I have an overview of the literature on false confessions in the most recent issue of The Jury Expert. Recent work on a false confession case drove us to the literature to understand the twists and turns the case had taken. It was very disturbing to discover the literature predicted all of them. Take a look at our false confessions article here:

  5. Brandon Garrett says:

    Speaking of false confession news – today the Michigan legislature enacted a interrogation recording – making it the 17th state (+ Washington D.C.) that mandate recording in some form.

  6. Lynn Ervin says:

    To Whom It May Concern,And this should concern EVERYONE!

    I am contacting you with a great injustice that has occurred in Tulsa, OK. by Federal Agents. This happened in 2010 but the cover-up continues.
    I’m trying to keep this short but still make my point. I have or have access to transcripts and recordings to back what I am saying. After seeing the lies and cover-ups done by some federal agents, I’m afraid to let the proof I have be shown, once the deceitful agents know this, I know my evidence will ‘mysteriously disappear’.
    When is it a crime to tell the truth? I’m not an attorney nor do I know the legal words to use, I’m just a normal U.S. citizen and the things I have witnessed in a courtroom in Tulsa, OK. truly make me cry for our justice system.

    We have over 40 criminal drug dealers that were let out of jail by a Federal Prosecutor from Arkansas, Jane Duke. These criminals were set free if they would change their testimonies to match the story USA DA Duke is telling. In one case one of the drug dealers she let out of jail was asked by the defense team, what is the truth? the drug dealer pointed to AUSA Jane Duke and then he said “what she tells me to say”. A lot of people in the courtroom laughed, but I do NOT think that is funny! AUSA Duke knew this person was lying yet she continued to use him as a witness. I’ve heard USA DA Duke has spent well over $20 million of our taxes and so she must have a higher head count to justify those funds on her investigation into the Tulsa Police Corruption scandal. There are 4 ‘dirty cops’ that she has also promised sweethearts deals if they name others. These 4 have so many crimes and have changed their stories many times. These four dirty officers have done horrible crimes but were never charged with them, some are unthinkable. Burglary, doing drugs with their informants, selling drugs and keeping the profit, stealing money from drug dealers and not arresting them and I’ve heard one female had Officer Gray’s baby. (John Gray the dirtiest of them all) Gray was never charged with any of those crimes, he was only charged with stealing $1,000.00 if he gave names of officers the prosecution had not charged yet. It didn’t matter if they were guilty or not, or if there was any evidence, the Federal DA would give payment to people that would follow her story line. This was looked at by the state and the state said there wasn’t any evidence of any wrongdoing by the other officers, then the Feds take it…all of a sudden the story is huge.

    This trial had so much deceit from the Federal Prosecution Team and they played ‘parts of recordings’ to make the tape fit their agenda. The Defense asked repeatedly to have the entire recording played and when asked by the defense ‘why wouldn’t you want the whole tape played?’ which the Prosecution replied, ‘we don’t have to, and it’s our recording’. And the Federal Judge just sat there.

    Why aren’t they looking for the truth instead of spending over 20 million to hide it?

    The way this was investigated (or lack of) needs to be investigated. The AUSA misstated, mislead and refined the whole case twisting it to be something it was not. Over and over in the courtroom I heard, how can she do that, isn’t that illegal, the answer being YES it was illegal but the judge never stopped it.
    I’ve never been so shocked at the tactics used by this Federal Prosecution Team, they did everything to stop the truth from coming out. I’m outraged (in fact I’m so disheartened by all of this, I cannot think a word to describe my feelings) while the government plays this game to further their careers; this is a misuse of power by USA DA Jane Duke.

    Quote from the letter of the Attorney General Eric Holder:
    A prosecutor has a continuing obligation to provide the defendant documents/information which may reflect upon his/her case. A failure of the prosecutor to do so can expose the prosecutor to fines/sanctions by the court.

    Quote from Justice Stevens: Fair and proper discovery and disclosure is critical to ensuring fairness in our courtrooms.In addition to damaging, and in some cases derailing, important prosecutions, lapses can undermine public confidence – and, frankly, your confidence – in federal prosecutors and in the entire criminal justice system. At the proverbial end of the day, the lawyers who serve the department are not here to win cases but, as Justice Stevens put it, to see that justice is done.

    we have transcripts of a recording showing FBI Agents telling a person to lie on the stand to help them on another trial.
    All I’m asking is for someone to really look into the way this so-called investigation was handled. I love the USA but now I’m scared.

    It appears that the custom and culture of the FBI is more corrupt than those they investigate.
    Hundreds of times during the past 10 years, federal agents and prosecutors have pursued justice by breaking the law. They lied, hid evidence, distorted facts, engaged in cover-ups, paid for perjury and set up innocent people in a relentless effort to win indictments, guilty pleas and convictions and all for the sake of ‘winning’ a case.