A column in today’s Lansing State Journal calls for Michigan lawmakers to prevent future false confessions and wrongful convictions in the state by requiring that police videotape custodial interrogations. In the wake of the recent release of Claude McCollum in Lansing, community members are calling for critical reforms proven to prevent wrongful convictions.
McCollum told investigators that he could have possibly committed a murder while sleepwalking, and that evidence led to his conviction for murder.
New evidence has now proven his innocence and he was released after serving nearly two years in prison
The column also discusses the case of
Eddie Joe Lloyd
, an Innocence Project client who served 17 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Lloyd allegedly confessed to the crime, but was mentally unstable at the time.
When will we learn that innocent persons do "confess" to crimes they did not commit?
When will we take a serious look at the social science that explains why individuals do falsely confess or plead guilty to crime?
When will we learn that an incriminating statement does not equal factual guilt?
When will we learn that changes to police interrogation practices are needed?
False confessions lead to the prosecution of the wrong person. The real perpetrator may continue to commit crime. It is time to stand up for Eddie Joe Lloyd, Michelle Jackson, Ron Williamson, Dennis Fritz, Debbie Carter, Ken Wyniemko and others who have been harmed by unreliable, incriminating statements. It is time for Michigan to pass legislation requiring that police interrogations of criminal suspects be videotaped.
Read the full column here
. (Lansing State Journal, 11/ 28/07)