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The Champion

December 2007 , Page 48 

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Informal Opinion

By Robert Perske

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Gisli Gudjonsson’s Penchant for Corroboration

Today, instructors in police academies never cease to hammer into the heads of recruit officers the proper steps needed for a successful criminal investigation.

  1. Get evidence.
  2. Get evidence.
  3. Get evidence.
  4. Get evidence.
  5. Try for a confession.
  6. Do everything possible to corroborate a confession.

Some investigators — but not all — fail to follow these steps with people who have intellectual disabilities. Some — but not all — misread the defendant’s differences and come to believe, really believe, that they “have the man.” Some — but not all — question suspects relentlessly for long hours until a confession is squeezed out of them. They do it even though no physical or witness evidence connects the person with a disability to the crime. Fortunately, in the last 10 years, false confessions have been exposed to the light of day as never before.

America’s Heightening Awareness of Actual Innocence

Law professor Steven Drizin and crimin

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