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Camera Angle Important in Recording of Interrogations

Posted: Sep 04, 2015 12:22 PM

To prevent false confessions, which have contributed to more than a quarter of the 330 DNA exonerations, nationally, the Innocence Project advocates that police departments video tape police interrogations so that juries can later determine if the confession was given voluntarily or was coerced.  Yesterday, the National Science Foundation released a video explaining that the camera angle used in recording the interrogation can have an important effect on the ability of juries to accurately determine whether or not a confession was coerced.

The video features Ohio University psychology professor G. Daniel Lassiter who explains that when the camera is focused squarely on the suspect -- with the interrogator either nowhere in sight or with only his or her back visible – viewers (i.e. jurors) are more likely to believe the suspect is making a voluntary statement regardless of whether or not the interrogator seems to be coercing the suspect.   

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Two North Carolina Exonerees Awarded Maximum Amount of Compensation from State

Posted: Sep 03, 2015 03:15 PM

At a hearing on Wednesday, the state of North Carolina formally approved payment of the maximum amount of compensation ($750,000 each) to Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, half-brothers who spent more than 30 years in prison for a murder they did not commit.
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Wrongful Conviction Cases Emerge, Citing Vehicle Recalls as “Newly Discovered Evidence”

Posted: Sep 02, 2015 05:25 PM

In the wake of the February 2014 General Motors recall of 2.6 million cars and similar recalls by other automobile companies, drivers who were convicted of accident-related crimes are now challenging their convictions. According to an article in Bloomberg Business, at least four wrongful conviction cases have recently emerged citing GM’s recall as “newly discovered evidence,” and others are on record regarding defective vehicles from other automotive companies.
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Pretrial Justice Institute Launches Campaign to End Cash Bail Featuring Chris Ochoa

Posted: Sep 01, 2015 04:55 PM

The Pretrial Justice Institute launched a photo project this week featuring Texas exoneree Chris Ochoa as part of a campaign to put an end to cash bail. The #unconvicted photo project seeks to expose the devastating effect the cash bail system has on those accused of crimes, especially those already in financial turmoil.
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Judge Kozinski on Myths of Fairness in the Criminal Justice System and Consequences for the Innocent

Posted: Aug 31, 2015 04:52 PM

Judge Alex Kozinski points to eight myths that perpetuate a false sense of fairness in our criminal justice system, many of which directly contribute to wrongful convictions. 

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