« Phil in the Blanks

Coerced: Anatomy of a False Confession

2023-02-28 | 🔗

If you think only guilty people confess to crimes, think again. Innocent people are often convicted after they provide police with a false confession. What could possibly motivate an innocent person to confess to a crime they didn’t commit? In this episode of the Phil in the Blanks podcast, Dr. Phil speaks with Attorney Laura Nirider, co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions and co-host of the Wrongful Conviction: False Confessions podcast. Plus, Dave Thompson, an expert in interrogation training and certified forensic interviewer, analyzes how minors can easily be coerced into making a false confession and shares tips for how to protect your child.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I want to take a pause here to give you a quick preview of what airing today on doktor phil ticklish, the twenty five year old officer, Gibson was gunning down a federal jury. They are both parents Richardson and for ron claiborne. Not guilty of Alan gibson's murder, yet they're spending life in prison, Allen's daughter, believes the right. Two men are behind bars the thought of each parent's insurance family for the first time. These people lie to you had nothing to do with the death. Defying doctor Phil check your local listings and for more on today's tv episode log on to dr phil dot com now back to phil
in the blanks we've got the csr law and order effect where everybody thinks the goal of every conversation is to get the I did it. They can take a fifteen year old in absent, apparent and absent a lawyer. They were convicted of the murders despite dna proving their innocence. well welcome to fill in the blanks we're talking about something. I think you will find very interesting today. Many people don't know that the police are permitted to outright lie about. There's two someone they bring into the station for questioning their even permitted, to lie to minors. Even kid Now try explaining that parents my guest today first hand knowledge of this and are here to share their experience and expertise.
Lauren. I writer is a clinical professor of law and co, director of the centre on wrongful convictions that northwestern pritzker school of law in chicago now, lord, president individuals who were wrongfully convicted of crimes when they were children or teenagers clients have included brendan bessie. the case was profiled in the netflix global series making a murderer and a damien Echols of the west men? Three whose case was profiled and documentary west of Memphis Dave tom? and is the president of wick lander zaluski an associate saying he is also a leader in non confrontational interview and interrogation. Training. He doesn't want to demonized police in any way me is a supporter of law enforcement There are some that abuse the system David,
cooperated evidence based investigative interrogation which focuses on building genuine rapport, asking open, ended questions and using academic research to train for investigative interviews together, there they have a collaboration that, let's face it is a bit unexpected defence lawyer and alone what trainer, which they you also tell us about so laura dave. Welcome, fill in the blanks. Thank you so much for having us it's to be here. The absolute They deftly unique partnership or one that I think we both both ground through that collaboration in the process well, let's talk about how this came about because, frankly, a defence lawyer and some one that works on the police side of interrogation and training police officers on interrogation. These are not burn. If a feather, usually so, the two of you together, which I love by the way and we work together
or would bet on the show. The three of us- and I found both of you, provocative and informative, but had it this come about. The two of you together well I'll at day that you tell the story, but it's just in one of the most incredible partnerships and you're right. It's not every day that a defensive tyranny comes long and it becomes a close colleague of of somebody who is dedicated to training on forest meant. So I like to think of our evolution here is as as a way to build bridges and come together on the really important issues. Wrongful convictions are no one wants to the wrong person wicked everybody wants the right person right, be taken off the streets while the innocents getting a home, and I so I think that the foundation for this in and davy can tell the story of what does introduce us to each other. Work, and I think there is probably no better time to talk about about. This we're in such a divisive. Society right now, whether its politics, criminal justice or any kind of reform- and you know that the simple way to put this in-
you mentioned- branded ass, his name earlier, like most people and watch making a murderer and binge watched over began several several years ago, and I saw the derivations abundant ass. You- and I have the wonderful opportunity to work for an organisation that has a platform of teaching law enforcement, and so when I saw happen there can recognise. That is, if we don't say, anything, that's just as good as us blessing in recognising that that technique is permissible and it's a reliable confession. I don't believe that I had the chance to reach out to war and some others involved in the case in from there realize that we're really not and two different sides of the same argument, we're really on the same one, where we're looking to make sure law enforcement has effective tools to solve cases and protect the public. safety and, I think, would actually seen more other. We haven't and then we actually have apart throughout this partnership. Will I think you do too
I said some of this when we ve talk before, but I really worry sometimes about the government and in this situation price secures who do become abusive. I may now at several different levels, but, as I said before, I think they forget what their job is and their job is to seek justice. Not account action, I think. Sometimes they get into a case and they get involved eager wise and time wise career wise they body in and they go out you're a conviction as opposed to adjust conviction. So I'll, do virtually anything to get that conviction once they start down that path, whether its astronaut, and I can't believe that Some of these prosecutors
don't know when they ve gone past. The line and say take a liberty sheer in getting a confession. I've taken liberties here in getting some one to say something that a reasonable, rational interrogation. And in the bright light of day was proper support in place would never have been given. Is that affair statement, or am I being too critical, I think you're spot on, I think you're spot on I mean I think that in a tunnel, vision is a real thing that sets in DR phil when you are in you know the position of of prosecuting somebody of telling a story about what it is they did. You know. I think it can be real easy for that tunnel. The set in and and make no mistake right, I mean all of us are vulnerable to that. All of us get wedded to our own. Narratives are no question about that and that's why I think this partnership that dave and I have forged- has been so incredibly
you all his we can serve as as checks on each other. We can balance ideas off each other. Am I getting too much you know my own place, a tunnel vision here right so there's the conversations we have all the time that are so useful as as we think about moving forward, rightly mentioned after further prosecutor perspective here and I it's important to see how that trickled down to the detective I like what you said. You know what their to seek justice, not a conviction, We look at the interview or the interrogation the gold, should be. How do I obtain actionable intelligence versus the confession, and it's that mine such shift. Let's get rid of this presumption of guilt. and instead of us enter a conversation with a gold. Let me obtain as much information as possible so that we can further investigate, but yet we ve got,
it was kind of csr law and order of fact, where everybody thinks the goal of every conversation is to get the. I did it and in fact that's that promotes the tunnel vision that laura just spoke about, there's no better family outing than catching a braves game at truest park. I'm honest: you knew in game host. Yes, the team games they're all exciting, but the braves make sure the littlest fans are the biggest stars. The whole family can enjoy great pre game, post, game, entertainment and the battery atlanta appearances from blooper and his new clubhouse kids, only game giveaway items on sundays and a ton more tickets for the game this summer are going fast, so grab those seats now braves dot, coms, tickets and get ready to make family memories that, alas, the lifetime this summer, atlanta braves baseball for the aid always concerned. When you look at the evidence in you see, there are in gazing methods that are long, embraced and used by problem
the vast majority of interrogators. They include certain things such as lying to us spect, misrepresenting evidence things that have been caused socially protected in many ways. Those things are used with sophisticated intelligent suspects, all the down to those that are intellectually challenged, and when we look at the burke of false confessions that lead to run, with our convictions. It goes up dramatically when you use those techniques with those that are less equipped to recognise and thin them off. Very this, those that are equipped to recognise and found them off, which tells you that it's not a level playing field
You have someone, that's got an eighty, I q and no support system and you use those techniques. You're going to get to three four times as many false confessions as you do with a sophisticated suspect they have to know that they have tipp the playing field I agree completely, and I think what you meant Firstly, thing you mentioned- fell as the. If there's, if there's one kind of technique or traditional training when when Only tool you have is a hammer. Everything looks like a now and when you about investigators that are they're going to talk to a witness, a victim of potential suspect rigour was of age or, other vulnerabilities. They can make risk factors I thoroughly trained on one technique? That's all I'm gonna use and we like to go. Look back then. Instead of always following the officers. What tools were they get in the first place to be successful and what we are seeing now are things like tat informed interviewing to recognise people have been exposed to travel that impacts, their memory and the recall were like
yet the social science of your movies a juvenile or youth in on our looking up upward stores, the age of twenty five not traditionally tn and I think the more we know that we can educate investigators on they want to do the right thing, but we need to provide them the tools to do so. I mean, I think, that's one of the most important things that you're doing david that we're doing in partnership. The the amazing thing is, I think, most people don't know oh, that police are allowed to lie to kids during it relations much less? That police have been trained to do just that, and this is being taught in all fifty states to our police officer there. At our law enforcement, that's out there on the streets of their being taught to use these techniques and the history years is fascinating to me. These techniques, in which we do see you and manipulate people during interrogation. These techniques were invented way back in the nineteen fortys and nineteen fifties, and
they have gone untouched. They are still in use today, even though another dna has been invented were realizing that people are falsely confessing. Due to this manipulation so much more often than anyone would ever have thought. So they were at this moment a realization thanks to dna technology, that these old, outdated techniques it's time to get rid of him, and and do something new well, I could agree more, but when they ask you something, I think I am this informed or made a wrong assumption about this, but in all fifty states, and I know the laws vary and they tend to follow. Generally. The federal guidelines. Is it legal for in tat gaiters to question. A minor absent apparent
in most states, that is legal. Now most states require police when they want to question your kid to at least try to notify the parents right, I, a slim slim minority of states, require the parent actually be there. I think only thirteen states require the parent to actually be theirs. so in most states you know at the police. If they come to your kids school, they want to question your kid. They pick the phone, they try to reach you. It goes to voicemail, they can check the box, they satisfied their duty and they can take your child and interrogate them without ever having actually welcome. So they can take a fifteen year old in absent, apparent an absent a lawyer. If the kid doesn't where's the lawyer or demand? Allow you're like a miranda eyes that kid lie to that kid, about burma, radio arise but you're not trouble here and then in Harrogate a child.
Who doesn't even understand the concept of making an admission against interest. Doesn't your stay on. What constitutes a violation of the law. Does not stay and what implicating him or herself in a crime might be whose brain is not even almost finished growing and therefore can predict the consequences. of their actions and in, harrogate that person hours on end get a confession and ok, we're wrapped here custom and gauge em, you got it, you got it hundreds and hundreds of cases like that around the country where this happens, the chair the ends up. You know, like you say, not understanding what their rights it's our in the room. What kid you know understands what exactly alike
to a lawyer means or one of where could do for them, and that moments you know any an eighty. Five percent of people waved their miranda riots and their number gets even higher when you're talking about kids pretty soon. You know you got a kid who is being told, falsely that there's a bunch evidence against them. You ve got a kid whose being told falsely that if they can find it's right. They'll they'll go home, but if they don't confess, they'll go to prison and all of a sudden you've got a kid who is prone to saying things saying they did things then maybe never happened at all, which we socialized kids to respect adults, to respect authority, to respect the police, and so they come in and say, ok, Listen, here's what we know and we're not cast on you witnessed I dunno what happened and, you may not understand conspiracy
do not understand any of the asp x or the elements of the crime has its in a jury charge ever. Doesn't it any concept of what the text Instead, the lawyers and can make admissions against interests without understanding what is admitting to or she admitting to that you see. To me to be such a fair playing for Let me give you some good news. We ve had five states in the land, a year and a half herself passes the situation that the assent or a little different, but essentially makes these confessions inadmissible, wet juveniles. Deception is used in and the reason. I think that that's important is all about two thousand. While the international association of chiefs of police came out of it. a policy recommendation that you shouldn't use this. This tactic lying to our youth. As a policy and, as we know, culture its policy for
at so we haven't seen a lot of departments implemented, but in the last few years, what we're safe our departments, take a stand, on educating their investigators and how do we handle interviews with youthful offend? as witnesses aspects differently than we do we we're seeing legislative policy were seen, training being different and we're social science brought into that the training them well. When I was current sciences. We ran, as many as ten, I was in my journeys and respondents to venue surveys, all different kinds of things in a year and one of the things I have frequently asked them is Do you believe that, generally speaking, people would admit to crime. They didn't commit and over welcoming Lee, they said Absolutely not they just cannot. See that nobody would admit to crime they didn't commit. So they have a preconceived, ocean that aviation
They did it, they did it. People distorted met suddenly and do so If you get a confession that weighs heavy on the jury, no question in my mind about that, but the truth of the matter is where seeing as you say, laura over and over the test is simply not the case. While the cases that will floor you- and I think, are a great illustration of your point. Dr Phil are these cases in which you know if you bring a kid, a teenager into the interrogation room or question for hours using to the tactics. No parent, no lawyer. Kid is scared. Kid offers
If a story. Finally, because he thinks that's what he needs to do offers up a confession. This has happened in Chicago all the time. Actually, in a couple of cases most recently that I've worked on the dicks, more five in the englewood for groups of teenagers actually were brought in and confessed to murders in these two separate cases, and what's amazing about these cases, is that you've got kids confessing. You these martyrs and in both cases before trial, the dna evidence from the crime scene was tested and excluded every single one of these kids. These kids were ghosts at those crimes scenes they just were there, but because they had confessed in a court in front of a jury. At the end of the day, they were convicted of these murders, despite dna proving their innocence because they confessed. That's how come
This evidence is that's how powerful this belief that myth right is that no one will confess to a crime dating not prosecute oreo misconduct, because the jury I not understand all of the new odds of that, but the process.
Tudor, damn sure does the medical examiner, damn sure does, and the judge certainly does. What makes for great vacation depends on who you asked? Are you looking to get away or bring everyone together? Do you want to get outside and play or see a play at the plate? Fortunately, however, you operate the destination. You've been looking for the name Missouri, but you can call me mouth and I have just one question: what's your imo come see me at visit dot com, while I think you're right- and I think that's you know part of what we're doing here frankly today and what have you been doing, DR phil, on your show in covering these wrongful conviction, cases is shining a light on the fact that we need to educate and reform, so many different parts of the system. You know I speak around the world about false confessions and police interrogations in a wrongful can
in juvenile justice and turns out. You know a lot of prosecutors, don't understand about false confessions. A lot of defense attorneys, don't understand about false confessions, so you got lawyers out there saying I took a case. This kid confessed. I'm done there's nothing. I can do to help. You know we speak to judges. We speak to police. Officers. We speak to ordinary everyday folks who you know, thank god, get this stuff cause once you see it. So you know once you hear these stories once you see a video of an interrogation, you really don't have to be a lawyer to understand just how easy it would be for a kid to second confess yeah, those the stories are were really inspired inspired me and helps us in our and our training is when you hear directly from somebody in opposition here your question. how do you educate people on? Why would somebody falsely confess it's it's about storytelling and for the for the listeners? It's about imagining if your child was picked up
or are questioned by law enforcement for anything. Why would you want them to do right? It expected to tell the truth and if they attempt to tell the truth, is but the investigator doesnt except it entails another that can't be what happened? Maybe two events as we have witnessed the puts you ever seen, or we have your fingerprints there you. What would you want your child to do an end for the people that are listening, not every child has the capacity to call mom or dad or the or the funding to call an attorney or maybe societal awareness that even have one you think about. We educate law enforcement. as soon as investigators ever question by internal affairs. There s for a union, rep or they're, asking in other asking for representation and soldiers put yourself in the mindset of the fifteen year old, regardless of the crime they may or may not have committed there still fifteen understanding. What what capacity they might actually have is important. Of course, friends and I was in high school that they had rather face the judge, then their pay
or twice, you want to call you, but no, no put me under the jail but don't come up dead. But let me ask you this, and this kind of rhetorical question, but I guess I'm asking: what's the remedy? When used a prosecutor that gets an alibi, denial or whatever and its rules little with inconsistency? Is they just tear apart? They set up chronological timeline they back with all the contradictory evidence and information. how long they were somewhere hell, I would have taken them to get somewhere. They just blow it up. Then? Those same investigators get a confession that riddled with the same amount of inconsistency is ill say, we're stabbed instead drowned or shot him and his choked him or whatever and said they.
man through a window when they know that the person came in through the door or whatever all of these inconsistencies and they did gloss over whom, what's the rush search, say about what they're telling themselves to ignore inconsistency in a confession that they would tear apart in a denial. I think Eric planning confirmation by us pretty pretty. Well there I mean it's. presumption of guilt, which is obviously counter intuitive to our entire legal system. But when we look at a false confined you're wrong for conviction the catalyst away you're describing as what's called miss classification is what what put. a innocent person and that seat in the first place and Why were they presumed guilty? Which is wrong and what we look back bows? We see faulty forensic evidence bite mark evidence. We see I witnessed testimony one the leading causes of wrongful convictions. We see
he jailhouse informants niches. I got another leading cause of wrongful convictions and self an invite together, who should do their due diligence, does maybe be ill informed as to why somebody's a suspect in the first place and then and then give us confirmation by us, but if they look guilty and I would guilty and act guilty in their mind. They must be guilty of it and they refuse to accept anything else and that's a problem. I think that's a very generous explanation. Yeah because you can't tell me that if somebody know somebody was stabbed thirty seven times and some if he says well yeah, I I I choked him with a dish towel and then stabbed him in the leg and they bled out
and they know they were stab thirty seven times. That's beyond confirmation by us. That's negligence rat intentionally line its wealth of line. As you know, one of the things that is less fascinating to me when I started learning about how interrogation works is when those interrogators walk into the room right. They are very often taught that you dont interrogate in order to figure out if the person is guilty. the only interrogate after you believe them to be guilty, so that the goal of interrogation is not to. You know, figure out whether you did it is to get a statement from you admitting that you did it and so that the goal right. If the goal is ok, let's get him or her to incriminate themselves in our. I think that that,
for wait too long folks of unwilling to accept statements that are wildly inaccurate about the way the crime happened, because the goal has just been to get them to say something that makes them sound guilty and that's how we gotta change those goals, and I think- and I know artificer what the remedy. I think one of the things doesn't fix the problem, but it creates transparency is recording of the interrogation because all too often that that end fashion is the only thing that a judge jury seas and that might be accurate, but it may have taken already, variations of that story to become accurate and if see how that transpired. It looks like a reliable confession when, in fact, it's the results of fact feeding altering of a story for the last two hours in the room, so recording doesn't fix it, but at least provides experience it you we got there that we saw that Brennan Jesse. Clearly this was a confession.
by successive approximation woody due to her hair, What did he do to? Finally just tells even this is why didn't you tell me that we are going to cause? You know? That's right. That's I m sure you ve got us right a sixteen year old, tenth grade special education students right who is pulled into the police station he's interrogated four times over a period of forty eight hours, three of those times with no parent present for those times with no lawyer present, and you ve got this kid. Who is told that he's gonna be charged with murder. as he starts filling in the blanks of what the irrigators think happened and he starts guessing cause. He's scared
well things on tape. Right all these interrogations are on tape and you could just watch his story. You know reflect what the interrogators are telling him and they get to this point. The most important point right. This is a murder case, the most important point of the. Pull interrogation? As did you did you kill her and if so, how? Right in the interrogators know that she had been killed by being shot my head. So that's what they're looking for brandon for this special education student to say so they say to him on anti right. How was she killed, and this is one of the most unbelievable sequences of any interrogation tape I have ever seen, because here is this: the sixteen year old he says: did we stabber known? No, no something else brendan something else. They say what else we choked her now the something else, and he goes through this whole guessing game of ways to kill someone at one point he so confused.
quizzed. You know they have to start giving them hints. They said to him brendan and it's something with the head. You did something with the head and he's so confused. He says we we cut off her hair this goes on and on and on it is painful to watch until he gives up. He says they. I can't, I can't think of anything more at which point they have to say to him. They had to tell him the right answer. They say to him brendan it's just gonna come out and ask you who shot her in the head- and he says oh well, that was that was my uncle right was also there in the story, and they said why. Why didn't you just tell us that right? Why are you rattling off all these other things? Why didn't you just tell us that and Brendan looks up, and he says because I couldn't think he's guessing when I saw there initially, I just thought
I didn't. I just right it out and tell him he was signing his release paper and having signed it. It would have been just as valid when they confessed, shooting Elvis on the moon while they're at it. You know I mean it's just they could have gotten him to say anything in those moments. I think pretty much anything at all. Do what you like that when you saw while that moment- and actually that another moment shortly after that and more you can correct me if I'm wrong, I dont know if the jury saw the when brendan's mom entered the room and he immediately starts to recount essentially and the press there has been relieved from him and is asking if you can go back to school, clearly, you can see that brandon hasn't Well idea what you just acknowledged here, idea what just happened. He doesn't think there's any consequences to it and he tells his mom right away. They got to my head and that that's the part that just struck with me and also tell you that, These video clips we're talking about
we ve shown these clubs the over fifty thousand investigators, the last several years as examples of how not to conduct interviews, and regardless. If you have an innocent or a guilty, person in the room when you contaminate an interview, the way that we, just that largest described there, moves any reliability too that admission. But how are we supposed to identify those persons being truth? For now we just told him everything you're supposed to say so, and I think it's just a approach. type of a false and unreliable convention will have been achieved and I saw there and I thought that bread and ass. He was guilty. I swear, I would fired interrogators saint use blue this case. Instead if getting a legitimate confession, you just fed him a confession, and now we have I think what I saw that I thought a there's no way they can sustain any kind of action against him and
they'll, never use it against stephen every cause. You can't use fruit from the poison tree to get it victualling somebody else right and I thank you it goes back to the two. This training peace going forward is one thus primary the goal that of that interview or interrogations to get a confession. It results in what we just saw there as they can accept nothing else other than I did it again, regardless of innocence or guilt of your goal. As let me get as much information that I can compared to the actual evidence, we can actually investigate and ass thing I'll stay with us. We ve been talk a lot about deceptive tactics that the supreme court ruling that permits. The use of this tactic is from nineteen. Sixty nine I'll ability of evidence is little bit different today than it was back the early seventies, and we have you relegated to do we can track a whole bunch of stuff. We weren't even thinking about you know fifty years ago and so
it's not relevant anymore does need to be used anymore, and we can actually have investigators. Investigate would be would be part of the solution, but I work with law foresman as well, do in training at all, and I've been asked over the years. So many times is stephen. I reality guilty is brennand ass. He guilty. I give the same answer: every time- and that is all I can do You for sure is that neither one has ever had a fair trial, don't know dinner. Didn't I tell you what I think, what I know is we've never had a fair trial. Oh look! I can speak only as brandons lawyer, but I've represented brendan desi for fifteen years now and my work on his case and getting to know this young man who was seventeen. When I met him, he is thirty. Three years old now I am so proud to represent brennand ass. The only evidence connecting him too
murder. Is this confession we're talking about or he's not even able to describe what happens in know I mean that every citizen who cares about truth, who cares about due process who cares about reliability and our criminal justice system should be jumpin, author couches and You know russian out there to make sure that this does not happen again, not brandon, not to any other. special education- do not any other kid not to any of us right the way, the system. That boy now man down is just heartbreak, laura laura, provided the opportunity for us a few weeks ago to chat with brendan and just I think, it's important before me the other day to say how kind an inspiring brenda deserts
I can't imagine anybody have talked to you and I we had the swift on your show. Anybody. I've talked to you that spain, and of a victim of this process. It just amazes me the hope and the positivity, and guess that they have because they know who they are, and they know what they did or did not do and just run just one of the most the positive most inspirational piece of this whole puzzle. I think yeah, you know he's he's thirty three, as I said and brendan has I've watched him grow up. He's grown up into this unbelievably kinds, gentle funny person who still has he's still has this child like faith that one day justice is gonna, come for him, what's remarkable after making a murderer all these people around the globe, millions and millions of people
his story, they started, writing brendan letters right from all over the globe. You'd get these letters. He still get like five or ten letters every day. Really ordinary people who, just you know it's nothing, profound or eloquent who just put down on a piece of paper. Hey brendan, you know, hang in there, I'm thinking of you, I believe in you hold your head up high. You know the truth is going to come out this kind of stuff. He he still gets these letters every day. He keeps them and he writes back to as many people as he can. You know, given his limitations, see right back to as many people as he can cause those those letters in finding their way to his prison cell in rural wisconsin, some from Australia some from The other side of the country's some from just down the street in wisconsin. Those letters gave him a nor I said, I hope, you're. What is next for him and watch it gonna take for him to get released, get ready,
generation, get a fair trial. What's he gonna take gonna, take courage that either it's gonna. Take courage know someone in Brennan's position legally right now best option, is to go to the governor of wisconsin and seek executive clemency, in this case a commutation which means, cutting short of a sentence essentially and acts that would free him. that's all that's left. That's since you know best option right now by a mile, so right now we're in a process of education of collaboration in reaching out to folks around the state of wisconsin. Hey. Have you heard about branded dashi come talk to someone dave right up a law enforcement authority. Who knows what he saw when he saw those tapes who shown those tapes,
two fifty thousand cops around the country to train them in I'll come in to come and to sit down with, has talk with those watch. This video meet Brendan end up in our guarantee once you approached this case with an open mind, there's only one right, decent thing to do, which is free, brendan Nancy. Or what is your sentence right now? He was to life in prison, with the first possibility of parole in twenty forty eight, when he will be fifty nine years old. Twenty forty eight that's right god in our one of the amazing things after Phyllis, because of all these problems with his case that we're talking about doing it, his trial when he was on trial back in two thousand and seven, the prosecutors actually offered him what they call a mercy plea. No strings attached just say you did. It will give you fifteen years in prison
to testify nothing. Just just say you did at fifteen years he said? No, I didn't do it. I wanna go to trial. I want to get through this trial. I want to prove my innocence, now, because he went to trial and was convicted because people don't Your understand why someone would falsely confess right now is life in prison is done. Why more than fifteen years is coming up on seventeen years now he would be out. That's right! That's what he said to his principles and landed them a life sentence. Wow, that's said, nobody knows: But, like I said what I know for absolute certain is he has never had a fair trial and he certainly as had a fair shake. I'm having lunch this afternoon. Was Marty? Tankleff worked on his case back when he was still aired on trying to get him out and, as you know, This exonerated out became an attorney.
Now. Adjunct professor at georgetown and works on these kind of cases and has a family, and you just hope when you give people the chance they deserve. Serve you see what happens? It's just astounding to me No, it's what you were saying before the resilience that these folks show and and that that's the humanity that that we are locking up wrongfully in these cases. Marty is a great example to David He as well as I do. Your martyrs have got another example of an inspiration he's held testify and some of these legislative hearings to get policy change he's been he's been a great support, and I think you know, if he'd gone to real, quick back to brandons kazan. It I mentioned we used some of these examples in art and our training, among other other cases, unexampled item artie story all the time most. If not all investigators identify the same thing when they watch these tapes and I don't know the investigators that were involved in brendan's case. I dunno
mindset at the time, but any one item Investigators today, when they reflect back, I'm sure, they wish they would have done things differently, even just because of the reliability or unreliability. That comes from the statements in the approach that was used and, I think, that's powerful. We know we ve got investigators across the globe I recognize there is an issue with the reliability of that information and, as laura said, that's the information that was used to convict, and so we've got a simple math problem here. Shocking. So what is the solution? A lot of what is being done, I think, as general, to say that its Confirmation by us, I think its generous to say that its tunnel vision. I think that there is just a lot of care. I've got somebody in the box here and my job The conviction, I'm gonna get a conviction of it was so many of these prosecutors who, at this time,
straight up. I came over here a to get experience in front of a jury and be too build up a won loss record, hopefully perfect and then a job to the defence side of the dock it. So I can then start recruiting these cases and say eight. I was a process here, I was your worst nightmare. I never lost a case. I know how to beat these cases guys I've been on the other side. I think they ve got an agenda some of these guys have an agenda and then I to the outside the dock it and try to get rich off of it. I think there's more larceny in their hearts. Then just simple com nation bias, but What do we do? How do we fix this? What does the legislation need to call for? I can speak to to the law enforcement. Is this there's a slide. I haven't our powerpoint that says, if it, if it ain't, broke, break it and part of the first thing that we have to do and were training investigators is done,
They use techniques for the last several decades that, in their mind, have been successful because they have successfully solve some some cases, and so the first thing the do as educate what All of these potential tactics are that can be up the problem. The second thing we have to do in conjunction with that is education on what training does work. You know about almost a year ago now, my hometown, above buffalo, new york, we added a shoot in a racist attack at a grocery store. Sentencing was just about a week ago he had ten people in our community were killed, and if you have to go interview the witnesses to the shooting. You can't be relying on these deceptive tactics or assuming how they're gonna respond. You need to understand how trauma impact those witnesses and the same applies in all of these cases, of providing a tool for investigators to go, get information. from a legislative peace last, the last third piece of this remedy
is making sure not only policy department reflects new training, making sure that's bought in from the command staff top down making sure. prosecutor's office knows whether reliable confession looks like and if all that does, work and it hasn't. We have to know that about thirty percent of wrongful convictions contained a false confession, which mean about thirty percent of these had confessions that were admitted by the courts as voluntary, and so the important piece of legislation is to provide the cords a screen, toward to identify. If all else fails there shouldn't be used as evidence in a a conviction against potential innocent person. So I think those are the least of the three problems are working out on their side and I just throw one other thing into the mix here that I think another thing that surprises people, ordinary people is the idea of prosecutor oral immunity and police immunity in l, a
for those of us who do we not doing our jobs live in our lives in. Do you make a big mistake? It a job or, if you do something intentionally wrong added her job. in all of us can be held liable. People can see us right, get food. As a lawyer for malpractice, we can all get sued in different ways held accountable for for the things that we do wrong. But what's wild is that for police and prosecutors? It's not the same right. They have been carved out of that system and given special unity so that, if you are a prosecutor and lets say europe, bad guy- and you decide to- ten slowly frame summer,
murder, knowing that they're innocent right, the worst of the worst of the worst things you can do, send them away to prison for life or maybe to death row, and you do this on purpose. You cannot be held liable under the law because of immunity. Right and police officers have qualified immunity that act to protect them, even if they do things intentionally wrong and I think that's a huge part, it's the system, that's gotta, be fixed too. We can all be held accountable to each other and there's no reason to take a couple of groups of professions, police prosecutors and treat them different than doctors or teachers, or you know other important people with important responsibilities in our society. I think, we're all three saying the same thing think about how many interrogations go on the inner views or interrogations. However, somebody approaches it go on every day. I think the vast majority of them Don't have in tat. I think they're trying to get to the truth.
to the bottom find out what happened and hold a right people accountable. I'm a huge supporter of law for but from the bottom to the top. But man when you get something that goes awry. I think private, some one of their liberty, in the united states is a very high standard and it should be depriving I'm one of their life is the highest of high and well it should be theirs. To be some kind of standard Some kind of review chair and balanced system here and spent so much time in the litigation arena of my staff here, if you get stopped, you get juxtaposition to some crime, you don't want to say anything about any thing to law enforcement you need to get a lawyer and don't say anything what it
I still you guys give to your friend off the record if there's been shooting and answered it. A bad car wreck, something that there even tangentially involved with. What are you tell me? but when the police well. How do you tell him to conduct themselves I'll answer that? Because I think its unique from my act of corn attorney and I think the same thing happens. I think police off is that we try and tell their family the same thing it because even by saying, obviously be respectful and cooperate which makes sense but cooperate as part of the problem right, because we all we all perceive what co operate means differently. If that's I to give up information that you don't realize is gonna incriminate yourself, even if, incidentally, is, is an obstacle, and even with kids, so parents that our listening, parents are often the first person to be in the room with her child. During an interview, they don't know not giving a legal advice, they could be victim of the same technique, so you have the right to record
intention use it no question about it. You know I'm a mom. I've got too little boys in school and one advice I give my mom friends out. There is put a letter on file with you're with her kids principle at their school saying. You know what, if, if a police officer shows up at school wants a question, might my child right and as a child, I am asserting for them their right to a lawyer. In this letter they have representation, I will get them representation. I do not want them question without me, and without a lawyer were, were good advice, root beer from Both of you and I had thought about the letter. Dave with you: a hundred percent I've had cases where someone has died. In the home and the spouses pair it has shown up to support and they just took them too police station, as wit, She's not assess bags, and listen to them. Talk the spell
says just feeling guilty Oh, my god, I just feel horrible. blame myself. That was the beginning. Of them winding up in prison and ultimate. lee committing suicide it began with them saying to their parent. I blame myself, that's terrible, and they didn't mean I caused the death of his dearest. I should I've been there. I should have then more sensitive. I should have seen this coming. I should have you know how you sell for criminal when you didn't foresee something and they wound up in prison and couldn't take it, and both of the children wound up without apparent because one was dead, in the other killed himself in prison. It all started with. I blame myself
we see the same at the terrible, but a good example of that. I think we see the same often with wrongful death of a child or child abuse of or teachers parents caretakers that I feel this guilt and remorse in their end, this kind of state of trauma after something happened and those types of spontaneous utterances, can be easily misconstrued or used in the wrong and the wrong way. So I think that's that's really really all of us, as we know it. Admission. Guest interest is of exceptional the hearsay rule, so they can use near screwed outer still don't say. A word is too bad because I think that So many of these people that are the detectives, the investigators are out there really trying to figure out what really happened. and a bad thing is when you get a false confession and you can fix the wrong person. That means
under is still out on the street tat. I think part of part of that is enough, for you asked advice for maybe parents or listeners, but the law enforcement folks that our listening are those that have fallen the one you want to call and see how their departments training. When you look investigators right now they most apart and maybe annually by annually, they have to get qualified and how to shoot a weapon out a fire weapon. They have to get trained. certified on use of force on a taser on how to drive their vehicle Four interview and interrogation. Witches were talking about this whole this whole session here and how powerful that is. That's often go to a two or three days, ass or learn on the job and one class for twenty, your career, you're, good and what we need as more required mandated education and accountability when people aren't compliant with it, just like every other task that they have on the job and because we're now seeing how powerful these tools are,
are used and probably people don't know the psychological subtleties of this and what's going on, we know psychologically. If you can keep somebody from making a denial if they start, like a denial, and you can stop them short, even if you do japan and say their name. If they start to say I didn't dave, let me ask you something if you can stop em they're alive, more likely to ultimately confess if you don't, let them dig a hole and they have a face saving way out there are so many subtleties it people don't understand their using all of those things to back somebody into a corner it here. Civilian. You can't know what all is going on in there I need to have a lawyer and you need to zip it that shit you'd never have to talk to him ever ever correct if you are charged with the crime, you never have to give an interview or statement correct. That's exactly right in never need to in, and you should not do it started. You asked, but everywhere
Your hope somebody comes in files are civil suit. Before you speak of neutrality, guess discovery is you know I arrived, say daily squat stern embryos and would sometimes it does well. Guys are really appreciate you taken time to talk about this, because if enough p, for here us, if enough people pay attention to this aim, Maybe we can change people from thinking an innocent people, don't confess, because that's just not true we ve proven that with the advancement of dna technology. Where is not a question? We see that it does APA time and time and time again, and it happens more and more with people that are less equipped to fight back against the techniques, and maybe we can get people in be so close by about that and I we weaken contribute to the catalyst for changing the techniques that are being used as a group. People commit bad guys.
They should be held accountable to the full extent of the law, but, let's make sure we've got to ride. People are amen. I agree with that. One hundred percent: let's make sure we got the right people and you are absolutely right. You know this is a moment of education. I think people are listening now questioning the way things have done, maybe opening their minds after they they're watching, shows like yours and hearing stories like these, and there is a better way forward. There's a path forward that will let us make sure that the the right people are locked up and the right people are free and that's why we're so glad to be collaborating with you, DR phil, and dave wyatt, Take my hat off to the good work that even doing with law enforcement here learning from these stories to make sure they don't happen again and positive from the law enforcement side. Does lotta, good news out. There is a lot of major cities, major departments that have already adopted investing
if the interviewing techniques already recording everything have specialised interviewers for juveniles of trauma, informed interview, trainings, there's a lot of departments that have acknowledged this and command staff that are doing the right thing, so slow and steady were getting there. But there are some positive trends, other well certainly are an again my hats off. We got eight thousand plus men. Women who put that uniform on every day and step into the gap to keep the rest of a safe. I support him my it's off to him? God bless him for doing what they do and I support him enough to be able to acknowledge when certain Things need change to make it even better. I don't have to turn, a blind eye to it, because I support him enough that I can admit when there are certain things that need to change this is one of those things that need to change. I'm workin on glass ups case in Oklahoma and
Poor guy has had his final meal four times his final meal. Four times and are still trying to kill this guy and I've got away, is nineteen states senators and congressmen up there, who are pro capital punishment. Who say he should be turned loose, they say: yeah we're, pro capital punishment, which will be sure where executing the right person we're pro capital punishment. Wheat is done think he's the one, so they ve come out said turn him loose and we still can't get him turn loose, but we're working we're working hard on it and I'm going continue to fight for those that I think are unjustly impressed and on death row, I'm going fight fight fire till my last breath in god. ass, you guys for what you're doing and if I can help in any way out letters I'll make phone calls I'll come stand up for whatever this, let me know
thanks for that. I thank you very much. Mobile talk again soon. I'm sure you guys have done a great job of explaining this today. I think a lot of people understand things now that they didn't. We started talking, and I appreciate you be it on the show. I appreciate you be in here and we'll talk again soon. Ok, thank you he very much thanks laura first.
Transcript generated on 2023-05-25.