Friday, December 26, 2014

False Confessions: Prof. Steve Drizin's disturbing compilations of "false confessions of 2014." (Publisher's note: I am devoting more and more posts to cases involving false confessions - and not just in cases where the accused has been exonerated by DNA evidence. HL);

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  A trend! This blog is devoting more and more to the subject of false confessions as the cases come to my attention. Most of the posts have arisen in cases where the accused has been exonerated by DNA evidence, often years after the conviction.  Other posts have related to cases where the false confession has been been obtained through lies, promises, inducements, artifice, subtifuge and threats - if not actual force. Then there have been those marked by the lack of physical evidence where the police have fabricated the statement out of thin air (when a confession cannot be bought for some secret remuneration from a cellmate.) Our thanks to Prof. Drizin for compiling the list for this landmark year. A sad list indeed.

Harold Levy. Publisher. The Charles Smith Blog.

STORY: "False confessions of 2014," by Prof. Steve Drizin, published by the Huffington Post on December 18, 2014. (Steve Drizin is Clinical law professor, Northwestern University School of Law.)

GIST: "2014 was a landmark year in false confessions. Here's my year-end list of highlights...("January" will give our readers a pretty good idea of what this depressing list is all about. HL); "Charges are dropped against Denzel Garbutt, a Chicago teen who confessed to shooting a 12 year old boy, after it is learned that he was at a prom on the Near North Side when the boy was shot on the Far South Side. The Cook County State's Attorney's Office vacates the murder conviction of Deon Patrick, one of seven young men who falsely confessed to participating in a 1992 double murder in Chicago. Patrick, who served 22 years in prison, is the second defendant to be exonerated, following Daniel Taylor who was freed in 2013. Patrick, Taylor, and Nicole Harris, another Chicago false confessor, receive Certificates of Innocence later in the month, qualifying them for compensation from the state. Daniel Villegas, of El Paso, is freed after serving 19 years in prison for a murder he confessed to when only 17 years old. He is placed on bond pending a retrial after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agrees to vacate his conviction. Sterling Samm, of San Francisco, is acquitted of first degree murder when a jury finds that his confession was not credible." (And that was just the beginning of the year! HL);

The entire list can be found at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;