Saturday, July 21, 2012

Agressive police questioning caused false convictions?

Jewish Week by Hella Winston The Jewish Week also spoke to the mother of a boy who attended a class that produced 23 counts of sexual abuse against Jesse Friedman. The mother — who requested anonymity for fear of being “run out of town” by a few people who are “still uber sensitive” about the case, but who said she would allow her taped interview to be shared with the district attorney — told The Jewish Week that she always thought that “this wasn’t exactly right.”

“I would go into the classroom [all the time] and pick my kid up and say ‘ooh, what did you do today on the computer?’ and everything seemed fine,” she continued. “If something had happened, don’t you think the kids would have been upset? They wouldn’t have been sitting at the computer playing games like nothing happened.”

The mother also recounted how she came home one day to find two police officers in her living room. While the officers assured her that they had not yet spoken to her then 11-year-old son, they told her they wanted to question him about the classes. According to the mother, the officers “started to grill him … they hammered him for a while, [asking] him the same question 95 times in different ways. After a while I said, ‘I [almost] wanted to confess to something.’”

While her son “stuck to his guns,” the mother claims she “never believed anything after that interview, because I could see how they could drag stuff out of kids that didn’t happen.”

1 comment :

  1. Friedman v. Rehal, 618 F.3d 142, 160-61, (2d Cir. 2010)
    At , search for Docket # 08-0297.

    << In sum, an appellate court faced with a record that raises serious issues as to the guilt of the defendant and the means by which his conviction was procured, yet unable to grant relief, is not obligated to become a silent accomplice to what may be an injustice. >>

    It's an amazing Federal Circuit Court opinion. It's a pity the Jewish Week didn't link to it. Highly recommended.

    Petitioner's submission to the Nassau County D.A.'s review panel:

    Gross, et. al. Exonerations in the United States, 1989–2012.

    An earlier version of this paper was cited by the 2nd Circuit. Starting at p. 75 (PDF p. 81), there is a retrospective on the child sex abuse hysteria cases of the '80s.

    Dorothy Rabinowitz's journalism on the hysteria cases from the WSJ. Also cited by the 2nd Circuit.

    Many of my acquaintances old enough to remember the '80s still mention these cases when they explain their skepticism about the prosecutors and psychological experts of the present.


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