Speaking topics: Coerced Confession, DNA, Undisclosed Evidence
On September 12, 1994 Michelle Murphy’s 15-week-old son was brutally stabbed to death. Murphy, just 17 at the time, was in her apartment with her new son and other child on the night of the murder. Murphy later woke up and discovered her child’s body in the kitchen, and immediately went to a neighbor and called the police.
The police interrogated Murphy for several hours, and coerced her into claiming that she accidentally killed her baby when she knelt down to pick up a knife. At trial, the prosecution falsely implied to the jury that blood recovered from the scene matched Murphy’s blood type. Subsequent DNA testing of crime scene evidence pointed to an unknown male as the real perpetrator. In the course of representing Murphy, lawyers also uncovered other evidence pointing to Murphy’s innocence that was known to the prosecution at the time of trial but never disclosed to the defense. She was exonerated in September of 2014, almost 20 years to the day that she tragically lost her son.