False Confessions

Recent posts

A Modern Understanding of a Long Ago Confession and a Boy’s Execution

George Frierson, a local historian and community activist in Alcolu, S.C. A few years ago, Frierson began to examine the case of George Stinney Jr., who was executed in 1944 at age 14 for the murder of two white girls. What he found pushed him into activism for the exoneration of Stinney.

A few miles off I-95, past acres of brown-and-white fields where blackbirds circle overhead, this small town in the heart of Deep South cotton country isn't known for much. It has a post office and a few churches, some abandoned houses and some nicer ones, ramshackle trailers and cotton fields. After church on a recent Sunday there, George Frierson was scuffing a shiny black dress shoe across some gravel at a railroad crossing. Back when he was a kid the rail line split this tiny, rural town along racial lines. But for blacks like him growing up in Alcolu, the train tracks signified something even more sinister than segregation. Continue Reading →

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False Confessions: NYC Still Struggles in Aftermath of Central Park Five

A screenshot from the confession tape of Raymond Santana of the Central Park Five.

In the United States, false confessions play a role in about one in four wrongful convictions overturned by DNA evidence. The confessions often come forth following hours of interrogation, resulting in a statement of guilt put on paper in front of the investigating detectives or on videotape. Continue Reading →

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