Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Disturbing Story of Potentially False and Coerced Murder Confession by Man With Developmental Disabilities May Have a Happier Ending

Alice Wong passes along this NPR story, which begins:
Richard Lapointe confessed in 1989 that he stabbed, raped and killed his wife's 88-year-old grandmother two years earlier. But in the 23 years since, experts in criminal justice have come to better understand how sometimes people make false confessions — especially someone with brain damage, like Lapointe. On Monday, Connecticut's state Appellate Court ordered a new trial, saying prosecutors wrongly withheld potentially important evidence. 
"It's one of the iconic cases in the annals of false confessions," said Steve Drizin, legal director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions and a law professor at Northwestern University Law School.



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