The Adams Center Presents: Richard Leo

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In the past two decades, hundreds of convicted prisoners have been exonerated by DNA and non-DNA evidence alike, revealing that police-induced false confessions are a leading cause of wrongful conviction of the innocent in the American criminal justice system. In this talk, UCLA Law Professor Richard Leo will analyze empirical research on the causes and correlates of false confessions. After a description of the kinds of errors (misclassification, coercion, and contamination) that typically lead to facially persuasive but completely false confessions in criminal cases, Professor Leo will discuss the psychology of police interrogation along with empirical research on the consequences of introducing false-confession evidence in the criminal justice system. He will also talk more generally about various sources of error in the criminal justice system – such as eyewitness misidentification, perjured informant testimony, and forensic error/fraud – and the most important policy reforms designed to reduce the frequency of the wrongful conviction of the innocent.

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