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Collects thirty-eight articles describing how innocent men and women have been coerced into confessing to crimes they did not commit, revealing the questionable methods police officers use to get confessions from suspects.
When he went to bed on the night of September 6, 1988, seventeen-year-old Marty Tankleff was a typical kid in the upscale Long Island community of Belle Terre. He was looking forward to starting his senior year at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School the next day. But instead, Marty woke in the morning to find his parents brutally bludgeoned, their throats slashed. His mother, Arlene, was dead. His father, Seymour, was barely alive and would die a month later. With remarkable self-possession, Marty called 911 to summon help. And when homicide detective James McCready arrived on the scene an hour later, Marty told him he believed he knew who was responsible: Jerry Steuerman, his father’s business partner. Steuerman owed Seymour more than half a million dollars, had recently threatened him, and had been the last to leave a high-stakes poker game at the Tankleffs’ home the night before. However, McCready inexplicably dismissed Steuerman as a suspect. Instead, he fastened on Marty as the prime suspect–indeed, his only one. Before the day was out, the police announced that Marty had confessed to the crimes. But Marty insisted the confession was fabricated by the police. And a week later, Steuerman faked his own death and fled to California under an alias. Yet the police and prosecutors remained fixated on Marty–and two years later, he was convicted on murder charges and sentenced to fifty years in prison. But Marty’s unbelievable odyssey was just beginning. With the support of his family, he set out to prove his innocence and gain his freedom. For ten years, disappointment followed disappointment as appeals to state and federal courts were denied. Still, Marty never gave up. He persuaded Jay Salpeter, a retired NYPD detective turned private eye, to look into his case. At first it was just another job for Salpeter. As he dug into the evidence, though, he began to see signs of gross ineptitude or worse: Leads ignored. Conflicts of interest swept under the rug. A shocking betrayal of public trust by Suffolk County law enforcement that went well beyond a simple miscarriage of justice. After Salpeter’s discoveries brought national media attention to the case, Marty’s conviction was finally vacated in 2007, and New York’s governor appointed a special prosecutor to reopen the twenty-year-old case. At the same time, the State Investigation Commission announced an inquiry into Suffolk County’s handling of what has come to be widely viewed as one of America’s most disturbing wrongful conviction cases. As gripping as a Grisham novel, A Criminal Injustice is the story of an innocent man’s tenacious fight for freedom, an investigator’s dogged search for the truth. It is a searing indictment of justice in America. From the Hardcover edition.
In a story featured on national television programs, a former FBI agent recounts how he uncovered the framing of two boys in a pair of unrelated murders committed in 1956 and 1958 in Pennsylvania, leading to the reopening of their cases. UP.
Although it is generally believed that wrongful convictions based on false confessions are relatively rare-the 1989 Central Park jogger "wilding" case being the most notorious example-recent exonerations of the innocent through DNA testing are increasing at a rate that few in the criminal justice system might have speculated. Because of the growing realization of the false confession phenomenon, psychologists, sociologists, and legal/law-enforcement scholars and practitioners have begun to examine the factors embedded in American criminal investigations and interrogations that may lead innocent people to implicate themselves in crimes they did not commit. Police Interrogations and False Confessions brings together a group of renowned scholars and practitioners in the fields of social psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, criminology, clinical-forensic psychology, and law to examine three salient dimensions of false confessions: interrogation tactics and the problem of false confessions; review of Supreme Court decisions regarding Miranda warnings and custodial interrogations; and new research on juvenile confessions and deception in interrogative interviews. Chapters include well-recognized programs of research on the topics of interrogative interviewing, false confessions, the detection of deception in forensic interviews, individual differences, and clinical-forensic evaluations. The book concludes with policy recommendations to attenuate the institutional and social psychological persistence (and pervasiveness) of the various inducements and impediments that have informed law enforcement's interrogation techniques and the types of false confessions they encourage.
Despite the rising number of confirmed false confession cases, most people have a hard time grasping why someone would confess to a crime they did not commit, or even why a guilty person would admit to something that could put them in jail for life. How the Police Generate False Confessions takes you inside the interrogation room, exposing the tactics that law enforcement uses to make confessions happen. James L. Trainum reveals how innocent people can become suspects and then confessed criminals even when they have not committed a crime. Using real stories, he looks at the inherent coerciveness of the interrogation process and why so many false confessions contain so many of the details that only the true perpetrator would know. More disturbingly, the book examines how these same processes corrupt witness and victim statements, create lying informants and cooperators, and induce innocent people to plead guilty. Trainum also offers recommendations for change in the U.S. by looking at how other countries are changing the process to prevent such miscarriages of justice. The reasons that people falsely confess can be complex and varied; throughout How the Police Generate False Confessions Trainum encourages readers to critically evaluate confessions on their own by gaining a better understanding of the interrogation process.
Exposes a harrowing vulnerability in the criminal justice system and the practice of coercive interrogation as reflected by a 1997 murder case involving four innocent Navy servicemen who were separately forced to confess to the crime and are still serving sentences even though the real killer has been caught. 15,000 first printing.
A true story of false memories. ‘Over decades and decades in Iceland people have gone missing without anyone finding anything out. They just sort of disappear...’ In 1974, 18-year-old Gudmundur disappears after a boozy night in a fishing town near Reykjavik. Eleven months later Geirfinnur, a quiet family man, goes missing from Keflavik harbour in the southwest of Iceland after being summoned by a mysterious phone call from home. Both men are eventually presumed dead, but their bodies are never found. This quiet island is in an uproar - two disappearances with no forensics, no leads, no clue what has happened. Soon, the vanishings set in motion an almost surreal series of events, a remarkable tale of corruption, forced confession, false memory and madness that stretches over 40 years. Based on author Simon Cox's celebrated BBC News investigation, The Reykjavik Confessions is a chilling journey of discovery into a dark corner of Icelandic history, and a riveting true-crime thriller that will have you gripped until the very last page.

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