Great News that the First Step Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. Among other benefits of this law, anyone wrongly convicted — based on false confessions or any other reason — will receive better opportunities. Our entire society should benefit.
I endorse Van Jones’ prison reform efforts. The need to improve conditions in prisons is all the more important when we realize how many innocent people they house — partly as a result of false confessions.
A trial in Louisville last week marked the 33rd case in which I have testified as a false confessions expert witness.
A Michigan Court of Appeals recently vacated the conviction of Kenneth Grondin, whose murder conviction was based on what looks to me to be a false confession. Very good news.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case of Brendan Massey, which likely involved a false confession. Accordingly, Massey remains incarcerated despite two courts finding that his confession was coerced. Very disappointing.
Last week Marty Tankleff reached a $10 million settlement with Suffolk County, New York. Tankleff, who gave a coerced false confession to killing his parents, served 17 years in prison before his conviction was vacated. His was the first case I wrote up on this website, and one of the first in which I served as a false confessions expert.
The Innocence Project is up to 354 DNA exonerations, and reports that more than one fourth of the people wrongly convicted gave false confessions or at least made incriminating admissions.