From the beginning, the evidence pointed to a sloppy or naïve murderer. The victim’s blood and scalp hair were under his clothes, indicating he was dressed after the murder. His shoes were tied with the bow on the outside, not as if he had tied them himself. The running shoes were clean and pristine, despite having rained on the day Robert was to have left the house to run.
As you are shown in the film, after the identification of Brenton Butler and his so-called testimony to investigators, the police and prosecutors just stopped working on the case. Thus, evidence that would have supported Butler’s innocence and help find the actual killer weren’t discovered until Brenton’s defense attorney, Pat McGuinness did some investigation and research of his own. Thus, flowing from film from the trial to McGuinness’s investigation scenes shows the how he attained the information that he and his partner could present in the courtroom. While the prosecutors only had the one eyewitness, who claimed to have only caught a glimpse of the shooter and gave description that did not even match Butler. The film presents the conclusion that the police did not actually do the work to find the actual killer and if it wasn’t for Pat McGuinness and his partner wanting to find the culprit, it would never actually be solved.
This paper will consist of an analysis of the case presented in the podcast Serial. The podcast Serial is based on a first degree murder case in Baltimore, Maryland, USA that took place on January 13th, 1999. The case consisted of Adnan Syed, a 17-year-old Muslim boy attending his final year of high school being charged with the first degree murder of his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. 16 years later, Adnan is adamant that he did not commit the crime, however he is still serving a life sentence for her death. In relation to the case, alibi believability, polygraphs, psychopathy, interrogations, inconsistencies within Jay’s story and confessions will be discussed throughout this paper.
In 1984, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino was the victim of breaking and entering and sexual assault. While being raped, Thompson-Cannino attempted to study her attacker’s face so that she could identify him in a police lineup. When she picked Cotton from the photo-lineup of six men, she said, “I think this is the guy” (Hughes 2014). When a detective asked her if she was sure, she said she was positive (Hughes 2014).
In early interrogations it was common for police officers to use physically abusive interrogation techniques such as the rubber hose to convince suspects to confess to a crime, whether they are innocent of guilty. Fred Inbau came up with a different technique that relied on presenting a large amount of fabricated or true evidence to get the suspect to confess. This technique was very effective in getting confessions, it has an 80% confession rate. Unfortunately, some of the confessions are false confessions, we do not know how many exactly. The first step of the Reid Technique, a similar coercive technique to the one Inbau devised, was to watch the suspect and determine whether or not he or she is lying during the interrogation based on behavioral analysis; which is severely flawed and does not actually help us determine if someone is lying.
This type of confession is commonly made to with the desire to protect the criminal (Deffenbacher, 1996), due to the inability to differentiate one’s fantasy and the reality, or to satisfy the need for attention (Gudjonsson, 2003). As an illustration, high-profile cases such as Nicole Brown Simpson murders in 1994, tends to attract a larger amount of voluntary false confession cases (Corwin, 1996). Another type
Christopher Simmons was a seventeen year old juvenile from Missouri whom in 1993 along with two of his friends, Charles Benjamin and John Tessmer, planned to rob and murder Shirley Crook in her home (Roper v. Simmons, 2004). On the night the crime was to be committed, Tessmer pulled out of the plan, and Simmons and Benjamin would continue on as planned. The two broke into the Ms. Crook’s home, robbed her, tied her up, covered up her eyes, then drove her to a state park and threw her off a bridge. During the trial, evidence, videotaped reenactment and testimony outlining the premeditated plan, allowed for the jury to easily convict Simmons of the crime. Even though Simmons had no previous criminal record and was a minor at the time the crime was committed,
Finally, Wayne Williams took the stand and testified, which resulted in very unfavorable attention from the jury (The Atlanta, n.d.). His angry and combative demeanor on the witness stand left jury members with little sympathy (The Atlanta, n.d.). It only took the jury approximately ten hours to deliberate and reach a guilty verdict, however, if the fiber evidence was not presented I do not believe the deliberation would have been so quick and most likely would have resulted in a not guilty
The sheriff wanted him to be guilty right away because of the incident that happened between Avery and the sheriff’s wife. The sheriff stated to Avery “I got you now.” The jail usually has a list of the people who were arrested the night before. When Stevens’s lawyer came to check his name wasn’t on the list. The sheriff ordered his name not be on the list.
In the interview with Officer Richard Bucklin, I asked him questions regarding his experiences as a police officer, the highs and lows of being a police officer, his opinions about recent controversial police topics and the challenges he faces everyday. All of his answers were very interesting and informational. I learned a lot when interviewing Officer Bucklin.
o From third degree to the more professional, but psychological methods used today • Why psychologists believe people make false confessions. • Other countries no longer follow the psychological methods the United States does because of the tendency to produce false confessions. • State a few cases where suspects were tricked into giving a confession, but later evidence exonerated them.
Consequently, when interrogators go into interviews believing the suspect is guilty, it brings on intense amounts of stress, putting suspects at a higher risk to crack under pressure. E. This increased pressure brought on by misclassified interrogations cause innocent suspects to feel so much stress they confess to a crime they did not commit. F. Misclassified errors are just one way suspects feel their only option is to give a false confession in order escape the pressure in the interrogation room. II.
Furthermore, there can be several factors at play when a wrongful conviction occurs and each case is unique. Three of the more common and detrimental factors that will be explored in this essay are eyewitness error, the use of jailhouse informants and professional and institutional misconduct. Firstly, eyewitness testimony can be a major contributor to a conviction and is an important factor in wrongful conviction (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p. 227). Witness recall and, frankly, the human emory are not as reliable as previously thought. In fact there has been much research showing the problems with eyewitness testimony such as suggestive police interviewing, unconscious transference, and malleability of confidence (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p.227).