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On a typical day in 1989, according to the New York Daily News, "New Yorkers reported 9 rapes, 5 murders, 255 robberies and 194 aggravated assaults.
Fear wasn't a knee-jerk reaction; it was a matter of self-preservation." In this fear-filled atmosphere, five teenagers were convicted of the attack.
Drawing on police practices, laws concerning the admissibility of confession evidence, core principles of psychology, and forensic studies involving multiple methodologies, this White Paper summarizes what is known about police-induced confessions.
In this review, we identify suspect characteristics (e.g., adolescence; intellectual disability; mental illness; and certain personality traits), interrogation tactics (e.g., excessive interrogation time; presentations of false evidence; and minimization), and the phenomenology of innocence (e.g., the tendency to waive rights) that influence confessions as well as their effects on judges and juries.
That's why even in the absence of a state requirement, former New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly implemented a policy requiring the country's largest, most sophisticated and most technologically-advanced police force to record interrogations in murder, assault and sexual assault cases.
Kelly's reform, along with then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg's pledge to support it with public money was a big step forward.
But some states, including New York, still lag behind. Scientific and technological advances in the last two decades have revolutionized society, and the law enforcement and criminal justice arenas are no exceptions.
We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.
Recent DNA exonerations have shed light on the problem that people sometimes confess to crimes they did not commit.
So it may come as a surprise that the state has failed to embrace videotaping of interrogations - now a decades-old technology.
The New York State legislature has consistently failed to pass legislation mandating videotaping of interrogations, even though bills have been introduced for over a decade.