Latest DNA exoneration highlights need for recording of interrogations
Death penalty would have killed innocent, left killer on street
Washington, DC-- As the Innocence Project achieved its 110th DNA-related exoneration, that of Eddie Joe Lloyd in Michigan, who had confessed to a crime he did not commit, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Lawrence Goldman issued the following statement:
"Had Michigan had a death penalty in 1984, Eddie Joe Lloyd would have been executed for a murder he did not commit. Indeed, at his sentencing, the judge complained that he was unable to sentence Lloyd to death. Lloyd’s case shows that our criminal justice system sometimes convicts innocent people. And sometimes these innocent people are put to death by the state.
"The death penalty is fallible. Unless we repeal it, we will continue to execute the innocent.
"To be sure, Lloyd’s confession, as related by the police at trial, sounded plausible. We now know, however, that it was false, that it was based upon information publicly available or supplied to Lloyd by the police.
"Coerced, police-fed confessions still exist in the criminal justice system. The police should be required by law to videotape all confessions – as they are in Minnesota, Alaska, Canada, Britain, and Australia. If such videotaping were mandatory, juries would be presented with more accurate information, there would be fewer cases like Eddie Joe Lloyd’s and fewer innocent people would be convicted."
Goldman is a criminal defense lawyer in New York City. He can be reached at (212)997-7499.