Monday, October 1, 2012

False confessions: How they contaminate everything and everyone they touch. Dr. Karen Franklin; "In The News." Must Read.

POST: "The taint of a false confession," by Karen Franklin, posted on "In The News"  on September 30, 2012. Karen Franklyn a forensic psychologist and adjunct professor at Alliant University in Northern California. She is a former criminal investigator and legal affairs reporter.

GIST: "With the recent tidal wave of scholarly research into false confessions, informed forensic psychologists are by now tuned in to the phenomenon. We know, for example, that they played a role in one out of four DNAexoneration cases. We are aware of their compelling nature, and can cite examples such as the Central Park Jogger case in which they produced profound miscarriages of justice. But let's take it one step further. What if, once police elicit a false confession from a suspect, it contaminates everything and everyone in touches -- from the prosecutor, the judge, and even the suspect's own attorney all the way to the fingerprint identification and even, perhaps, the DNA match?
That is the troubling thesis raised by Saul Kassin, a pioneer in the psychological study of false confessions, in an article in the current issue of the American Psychologist.".........All of this suggests that it is essential for courts to allow the testimony of forensic experts who can explain the mechanisms of false confessions, including both what types of police practices are more likely to generate them, and what types of individual vulnerabilities make a person especially prone to cave in under such pressure. More broadly, this line of analysis suggests the need for changes in police practices, for example an end to the routine practice of lying to suspects about incriminating evidence, and greater government oversight and regulation of police interrogations. Moreover, safeguards on the analysis of supposedly independent evidence, such as evidence technicians being blind to a suspect's confession status, must be implemented in order to ensure that corroborating evidence truly is independent."

The entire post can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.