In October, Michigan prosecutors dismissed murder charges against Claude McCollum, who had served 18 months in prison for a murder he said he didn’t commit. The charges were dropped after new videotape evidence came to light revealing that McCollum wasn’t near the crime scene at the time of the 2005 murder. McCollum’s attorneys also said that another man confessed to the murder.
In the wake of McCollum’s release, Ingham County District Attorney Stuart Dunnings III has asked the state attorney general’s office to investigate the convictions. McCollum’s defense attorneys have alleged that the videotape evidence was known to police before McCollum’s conviction but never handed over the defense attorneys.
“This thing was bad from the beginning,” said his attorney Hugh Clarke Jr. “It’s going to cause people to take a look, a real good look. People should do that. They have to search themselves.”
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. (Battle Creek Enquirer, 11/24/07)
Prosecutors told the jury at McCollum’s trial that he had confessed to the murder, because he made statements during a police interrogation about the possibility of killing the victim while sleepwalking. McCollum denied that he had confessed to the crime.
Read an excerpt of the interrogation here
False confessions or admissions have contributed to more than 25% of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing. Many false confessions can be prevented by videotaping of custodial interrogations.
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