Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tonight on Frontline

The PBS program Frontline has a show on tonight about the Norfolk Four.

You might remember that four sailors stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, falsely confessed to the rape and murder of the wife of another sailor. The sailors and experts explain that high-pressure police interrogation techniques led them to falsely confess. It's also a story of police and prosecutorial misconduct because the State wouldn't back off the prosecutions even after the only suspect who left DNA evidence at the crime scene confessed and told the police he did it alone, a scenario which fit the rest of the forensic evidence.

False confessions are real and are a real problem for defense attorneys. Most potential jurors believe that they would never confess to a crime they didn't commit and it's our job to overcome that mindset. This show might give us some ideas on how to do that.


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