Monday, September 18, 2017

False confessions (2): ‘The Confession Tapes; ’ Film Critic Nick Schager says "The Confession Tapes provide a harrowing look at false murder confessions; "After ‘Making a Murderer’ and ‘The Keepers,’ Netflix’s reign over the true-crime genre continues with ‘The Confession Tapes."..."To recount these cases, Loudenberg marries her grainy VHS confession tapes to archival footage, new interviews with primary players and evocative dramatic imagery (a tour through a crime-scene garage, close-ups of broken glass, a bloody dollar bill, and a polygraph machine scribbling lines on a piece of paper). It’s a style that diligently follows the Errol Morris book of true-crime filmmaking, and yet its lack of formal adventurousness is offset by the precision of the director’s technique, as well as by an overarching air of despair."


PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This Blog is interested in false confessions because of the disturbing number  of exonerations in the USA, Canada and multiple other jurisdictions throughout the world, where, in the absence of incriminating forensic evidence the conviction is based on self-incrimination – and because of the growing body of  scientific research showing how vulnerable suspects    (especially juveniles)  are to widely used interviewing methods  such as  the notorious ‘Reid Technique.’

Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.

PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "The Confession Tapes’ various tales feature recordings of men and women denying responsibility for hours on end, only to eventually succumb to the narratives fed to them by cops. That, in almost every instance, there’s no corroborating evidence to back up these statements—save for circumstantial tidbits that hardly rise to a “reasonable doubt” standard—means that these people have been put away for crimes based solely on their own admissions. It’s a portrait of dubious law enforcement methods resulting in legal railroading, and one whose outrageousness is amplified by the fact that, after the verdict, there’s very little recourse to be undertaken on behalf of the convicted."

COMMENTARY:  ‘The Confession Tapes’ Provides a Harrowing Look at False Murder Confessions, by Nick Schager, published by The Daily Beast on September 17, 2017. (Nick Schager is a NYC-area film critic and pop-culture writer whose work also appears in The Village Voice, Esquire, New York Magazine’s Vulture, Maxim, Complex and The A.V. Club.)