False Confessions: A Review of 2014

December 18, 2014 - Finding Carter

2014 was a landmark year in fake confessions. Here’s my year-end list of highlights:


Charges are forsaken opposite Denzel Garbutt, a Chicago teen who confessed to sharpened a 12 year aged boy, after it is schooled that he was during a promenade on a Near North Side when a child was shot on a Far South Side.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office vacates a murder self-assurance of Deon Patrick, one of 7 immature group who secretly confessed to participating in a 1992 double murder in Chicago. Patrick, who served 22 years in prison, is a second suspect to be exonerated, following Daniel Taylor who was liberated in 2013. Patrick, Taylor, and Nicole Harris, another Chicago fake confessor, accept Certificates of Innocence after in a month, subordinate them for remuneration from a state.

Daniel Villegas, of El Paso, is liberated after portion 19 years in jail for a murder he confessed to when usually 17 years old. He is placed on bond tentative a retrial after a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agrees to empty his conviction.

Sterling Samm, of San Francisco, is clear of initial grade murder when a jury finds that his admission was not credible.


Antonio Yarbrough and Shariff Wilson are vindicated of a triple murder by DNA contrast after portion 22 years in prison.
King’s County DA Kenneth Thompson vacates their philosophy after DNA found underneath Yarbrough’s mother’s fingernails is matched to DNA found on another murder plant who had been killed while Yarbrough and Wilson were in prison.

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, while failing of cancer, writes an open letter to King’s County DA Kenneth Thompson, seeking him to reinvestigate a cases of David McCallum and Willie Stuckey, dual Brooklyn teenagers who Carter insists are trusting of a 1985 murder.


Latisha Johnson, usually 18 when she secretly confessed to a murder in a Bronx, is expelled after scarcely a decade in jail along with her co-defendant Malisha Blyden.

In 2013, murder charges opposite Kosgar Lado, a Sudanese interloper vital in Lansing, Michigan, were forsaken when new justification implicating others surfaced. Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunning III, however, continued to pursue transgression charges opposite a mentally ill Lado for fibbing when he secretly confessed to police. After a village rallies to support Lado and a internal paper rails opposite Dunning’s decision, Dunning drops a transgression charges.


David and Me, a documentary about a prejudicial philosophy of David McCallum and Willie Stuckey destined by Marc Lamy and Ray Klonsky, is expelled during a Hot Docs Festival in Toronto. The film, that also facilities Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, premieres usually days before Carter dies of cancer.


Reginald Adams‘ murder self-assurance is vacated and he is expelled after 34 years in jail when a New Orleans Parish DA agrees that Adams’ admission is dangerous and that former prosecutors had buried justification joining others to a crime.

US Dept of Justice reverses a longstanding process opposite electronic recording of statements of assailant suspects, saying that “[A]udio recording, preferably with video, is presumptively compulsory for interrogations of suspects in custody, with some exceptions.”


Adrian Thomas, whose 2008 admission to murdering his four-month aged son, was tossed out in 2013 by a New York Court of Appeals, is clear by a jury. Thomas’s box had been a theme of Scenes of a Crime, Blue Hadaegh and Grover Babcock’s 2011 documentary.


Arson Charges are dismissed opposite Trinity High School Principal Thomas Sander after a North Dakota decider finds that military coerced his confession. According to news accounts, military had abandoned a admission of a tyro who certified to blazing down a school.


Lewis Gardner and Paul Phillips, dual other co-defendants of Deon Patrick and Daniel Taylor, are postulated certificates of innocence.

Trevon Yates, an East St. Louis, IL. teenager, files a lawsuit opposite a St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office, alleging that officers coerced him into secretly admissing to an armed robbery.

Jamie Lee Peterson, of Kalkaska MI, is expelled after portion 17 years in jail for a rape-murder that he confessed to, though did not commit.


Leon Brown and his half-brother Henry Lee McCollum are liberated after portion 30 years in prison. The dual group were usually teenagers when they confessed to participating in a rape-murder of an 11-year-old lady in Red Springs, N.C. Both group were given a death penalty and McCollum was still on genocide quarrel during a time of his release. Ken Rose, McCollum’s long-time genocide chastisement invulnerability lawyer, vents his disappointment in a absolute Op-ed.

The District of Columbia is named as a suspect in a $5 million dollar lawsuit centered on a statements of former D.C. carnage detective, James Trainum, who spoke about his purpose in receiving a fake murder admission from “Kim” in “Kim Possible”, an part of This American Life that aired in Oct 2013.

Michelle Murphy, a 17-year aged Tulsa, OK internal who secretly confessed to murdering her tot son, is vindicated after portion 20 years in prison.


David McCallum‘s self-assurance is thrown out and he is liberated after portion 29 years in prison. DA Kenneth Thompson publicly declares that a confessions of McCallum and Stuckey are false.

Billy Wayne Cope‘s interest to a United States Supreme Court is denied. Cope argued that he was denied a fair trial in South Carolina when he was not authorised to surprise a jury that a male who raped and murdered his daughter had committed a fibre of break-ins and passionate assaults in a arise of her death.

The North Carolina Innocence Commission exonerates Willie Womble after new justification proves he is innocent. Womble served 38 years in jail for a murder he did not commit.

Yesenia Santiago, indicted by Chicago military of murdering her son, is expelled after new justification proves she was sealed adult on a day her son was killed.

Judges for Justice releases a array of expert reports that doubt a shame of Chris Tapp, a male portion life in jail for a murder of Idaho Falls internal Angie Dodge.


Lawyers for Teina Pora, a New Zealander, transport to London to disagree to a Privy Council that Pora’s admission to a rape-murder was fake and that DNA justification proves a crime was committed by a sequence rapist.

The Manhattan DA’s Office drops child seduction charges opposite Malthe Thomsen, a Danish novice during a Manhattan pre-school.

Christian Meissner, a psychology highbrow during Iowa State University, co-authors online brochure, a “how to guide” for interrogating high-value detainees and entertainment profitable comprehension without obtaining fake confessions. The brochure, that is formed on a best amicable scholarship research, takes on combined stress when a few weeks later, a Senate Intelligence Committee releases a Report on a CIA’s use or woe in a post 9-11 apprehension and inquire practices .


Buffalo, N.Y. internal Josue Ortiz is liberated after 10 years in jail when a Erie County District Attorney recognizes that Ortiz secretly confessed to a double murder in 2004.

An Arizona appellate probity dismisses all assailant charges opposite former genocide quarrel invalid Debra Milke anticipating that Maricopa County prosecutors intent in gross misconduct. Milke, who spent 24 years on genocide quarrel for a 1989 murder of her son, will have to continue one some-more interest to a Arizona Supreme Court.

A South Carolina probity vacates a self-assurance of George Stinney a 14 year aged black child who was coerced into admissing to a murders of dual white girls and executed in 1944.

2014 will also be remembered as a record-breaking year in terms of a volume of income paid by state and internal governments to recompense wrongfully convicted defendants who secretly confessed. Although no volume of income can make adult for losing a primary years of their lives, several defendants staid their lawsuits or won sizeable jury verdicts for their pain and suffering, including a Central Park Five, a Dixmoor Five, David Ranta, Frank Sterling, Martin Tankleff, and Jeffrey Deskovic.

As 2014 draws to a close, my thoughts are with all a trusting group and women who secretly confessed though who contingency spend nonetheless another Holiday deteriorate behind bars. Here’s wishing a Happy New Year to we and your families and might 2015 move we your leisure and some magnitude of justice.

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