Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Why would officials be afraid of videotaped confessions?

...

Why would officials be afraid of videotaped confessions?

Well, they can’t just make up a confession. I have seen and heard firsthand where police officers in Connecticut will out and out lie regarding confessions or any other matter. There is no recourse, as there are no real investigations into misconduct, make a complaint against a state judge and almost 100% of the complaints are shredded. The only safeguard or checks and balances has been the media. An un-doctored videotape with audio is compelling evidence and can stir even the biggest doubters to the obvious.

If there are cameras when prisoners are interrogated in Connecticut, officers will have to be retrained in proper techniques and will have to have some semblance of having manners and self-control. The best example of the video camera rule is the reason O.J. Simpson got acquitted after the fact that he had some of the best lawyers out there actually doing their jobs, was that the Judges, Prosecutors, and Police had virtually no practice doing all of what they do, thoroughly, properly, and legally.

I received this email today:





From :
kmdickson@comcast.net

Sent :
Tuesday, March 28, 2006 4:50 PM

To :
SpinLyme@yahoogroups.com, DDickson@SIKORSKY.COM, moran@courant.com, letters@courant.com, jgerberding@cdc.gov, pbaker@niaid.nih.gov, caga@snet.net, trvl@hotmail.com, rjmurzyn@aol.com, cksubs@aol.com, mas1@concentric.net, jhornberger@fff.org, editor@commondreams.org, editor@washpost.com, horgan@courant.com, commissioner.dcf@po.state.ct.us, leonard.boyle@po.state.ct.us, FalNields@aol.com, bransfield@comcast.net, vtsherr@comcast.net, mcneilel@aol.com, oca@po.state.ct.us, dand@davila-dilzer.com, attorney.general@po.state.ct.us, scott.murphy@po.state.ct.us, thomas.carson@usdoj.gov, thomas.ryan@po.state.ct.us, frank@courant.com, cpoitras@courant.com, williams@senatedems.ct.gov, William.Dyson@cga.ct.gov, McDonald@senatedems.ct.gov, Kenneth.Green@cga.ct.gov, meyer@senatedems.ct.gov, lew@lewrockwell.com, kenneth.marcus@po.state.ct.us, institute@thenation.com, james.phillips@yale.edu, ElizabethdelaVega@Verizon.net, paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com, sidney_blumenthal@yahoo.com, handley@senatedems.ct.gov, ltgovernor.sullivan@p

CC :
crinminal.division@usdoj.gov, patrick.fitzgerald@usdoj.gov, christopher.christie@usdoj.gov, spinlyme@yahoogroups.com, ctlyme@yahoogroups.com

Subject :
Christopher Morano and False Confessions- Hartford Courant

From the Class Action re Morano: http://actionlyme.org/5_328_Torres_RI.htm

25- H) The Saraceno Case: Plaintiff KM Dickson suspects the integrity of ChiefState’s Attorney Christopher Morano due to what we learned in the HartfordCourant’s Northeast Magazine, Jan 9, 2005, regarding the Saraceno boy’s case:

“Saraceno was convicted and imprisoned but later released after a private investigation discovered that the prosecutor was protecting four other young men who almost certainly did the crime.

The chief state’s attorney’s officeuncomfortably joined in the defense in a motion to overturn the conviction. That should have freed the youth from further jeopardy.

Instead, in 1999, underthreat of extending the legal nightmare that had already cost his parents $100,000, Saraceno accepted guilt for “hindering prosecution by falsely confessing. ”

Under the statute of limitations, the state had allowed the five-year window for prosecuting the known suspects to close.

No one except the wrong man did jail time for the crime.

***

The law officer most responsible for compelling Saraceno to declare it was his fault is Chief State’s AttorneyChristopher Morano”.

*** Did anyone mention "CORRUPTICUT????" courant.com

[link snipped article in its entirety below]

Require Taped Confessions March 27 2006 Although Richard Lapointe was convicted of murder 14 years ago, his case still sticks in the craw of the state's criminal justice system. And it argues for the tape recording of criminal confessions.

A meek, awkward, mentally handicapped man with no history of violence, Mr. Lapointe was convicted of the brutal rape and murder of his wife's 88-year-oldgrandmother in Manchester in 1987.

Mr. Lapointe was convicted by his confession. Manchester police, unable to solve the crime for two years, invited Mr. Lapointe to the station on July 4, 1989, and kept him there for almost 10 hours.

He had no lawyer, and the interrogationsweren't recorded. Over the course of the evening, Mr. Lapointe signed threeconfessions. Two were absurd on their faces - in one he confessed but said hedidn't remember committing the crime - and a third was inconsistent with forensic evidence in the case, a Courant investigation found, and contained details almost certainly fed to him by police.

With no witnesses nor any probative forensic evidence, it was the admission ofguilt, such as it was, that did him in.

A confession is a powerful tool.

Jurors often don't believe that a person would confess to a crime he didn't commit.

Yet, according to experts such as Richard Ofshe, professor emeritus at theUniversity of California at Berkeley, false confessions happen all the time. An Illinois study found that coerced confessions were the leading cause of criminal convictions being overturned.

Particularly vulnerable are mentally handicapped persons, who often wish to please authority figures. Alone, tired, wanting to go home, Mr. Lapointe might have confessed to the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand.

Did Mr. Lapointe, who stared blankly out the window at his trial while his public defenders fought to stave off the death penalty, understand what he wasdoing when he confessed? Was he coerced?

We would have a much better idea if the proceedings were recorded. Mr. Lapointe could very well be guilty, but his confession is suspect. For at least a decade, advocates have pushed for a law requiring that interrogations of suspects be recorded.

There's a bill now before the General Assembly that would require any interrogation or statement by someone being investigated for aserious crime, Class B felony or above, to be electronically recorded when feasible. When a statement is not recorded, a defendant would be allowed to so inform the jury. Such a law would be fair to suspects, encourage sound interrogation techniques and protect police officers from false claims of abuse. A handful of other states and many local jurisdictions require taping. Connecticut should as well.

Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant

--http://actionlyme.org



From the Hartford Courant:




EDITORIALS
Require Taped Confessions
March 27, 2006

Although Richard Lapointe was convicted of murder 14 years ago, his case still sticks in the craw of the state's criminal justice system. And it argues for the tape recording of criminal confessions.

A meek, awkward, mentally handicapped man with no history of violence, Mr. Lapointe was convicted of the brutal rape and murder of his wife's 88-year-old grandmother in Manchester in 1987.

Mr. Lapointe was convicted by his confession. Manchester police, unable to solve the crime for two years, invited Mr. Lapointe to the station on July 4, 1989, and kept him there for almost 10 hours. He had no lawyer, and the interrogations weren't recorded. Over the course of the evening, Mr. Lapointe signed three confessions.

Two were absurd on their faces - in one he confessed but said he didn't remember committing the crime - and a third was inconsistent with forensic evidence in the case, a Courant investigation found, and contained details almost certainly fed to him by police.

With no witnesses nor any probative forensic evidence, it was the admission of guilt, such as it was, that did him in. A confession is a powerful tool. Jurors often don't believe that a person would confess to a crime he didn't commit.

Yet, according to experts such as Richard Ofshe, professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, false confessions happen all the time. An Illinois study found that coerced confessions were the leading cause of criminal convictions being overturned.

Particularly vulnerable are mentally handicapped persons, who often wish to please authority figures. Alone, tired, wanting to go home, Mr. Lapointe might have confessed to the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand. Did Mr. Lapointe, who stared blankly out the window at his trial while his public defenders fought to stave off the death penalty, understand what he was doing when he confessed?

Was he coerced?

We would have a much better idea if the proceedings were recorded. Mr. Lapointe could very well be guilty, but his confession is suspect. For at least a decade, advocates have pushed for a law requiring that interrogations of suspects be recorded. There's a bill now before the General Assembly that would require any interrogation or statement by someone being investigated for a serious crime, Class B felony or above, to be electronically recorded when feasible.

When a statement is not recorded, a defendant would be allowed to so inform the jury.

Such a law would be fair to suspects, encourage sound interrogation techniques and protect police officers from false claims of abuse. A handful of other states and many local jurisdictions require taping. Connecticut should as well.

Interact with The Courant:
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> Visit Karen's daily Blog.
> View today's corrections.
> Contact a reporter.
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* * * *

Do Legislators knowingly confirm judges that harm children?

Why should you care if a judicial nominee to a criminal and family court system never tried a criminal case and also has no family court experience is confirmed as a Judge by a Judicial Committee, that is more about back slapping and favors, than in actually serving and protecting the public?

The Italian and Jewish Mafia

Niggers and Second Class Citizens

With the Dream of Pediatric Prisons dancing in their heads

This blogger's email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com

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