Sunday, December 4, 2016

Michael Burgund: Illinois; False confessions (2): Convicted of raping two little girls he gets a new trial and his life sentence overturned...Appeal court ruled that the trial judge should have permitted the psychologist to testify about Burgund’s suggestibility, so that the jury could consider whether the confession was real or false..."Medical evidence was also inconclusive, supporting the state’s allegations but also explainable by innocent causes, the decision read. Burgund’s videotaped confession to Alton Police was offered into evidence, as well as statements the children made to their mother and interviewers at the Child Advocacy Center. In his defense, Burgund testified that he never abused the girls and gave a false confession because he had been coerced into doing so by the girls’ mother and was psychologically manipulated into believing he had abused the children. In pretrial rulings, Callis excluded testimony from witnesses who allegedly would have corroborated aspects of his testimony regarding his psychological condition, and from a psychological expert who would have testified that Burgund was “highly suggestible and easily led.”

STORY: "Man convicted of raping two little girls gets new trial, life sentence overturned," by reporter Elizabeth Donald, published by the Belleville News-Democrat  on November 22, 2016. (Thanks to The Wrongful Convictions Blog for bringing this story to our attention. HL);