According to the New York Times, defense lawyers have argued that police interrogation tactics can lead people to admit to crimes they did not commit. About a quarter of the convicts exonerated by DNA nationwide gave false confessions, made self-incriminating statements or pleaded guilty, according to the Innocence Project.
“That the phenomenon of false confessions is genuine has moved from the realm of startling hypothesis into that of common knowledge, if not conventional wisdom,” Judge Susan P. Read wrote in the majority opinion.
Vincent M. Bonventre, an Albany Law School professor, called the ruling “a big step.”
“The kind of evidence, which in the past people relied on more heavily than anything else, now the Court of Appeals is saying, ‘Yeah, we understand a lot of these confessions might be false,’ ” he said, reported the Times.
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/nyregion/new-yorks-highest-court-acknowledges-issue-of-false-confessions.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&pagewanted=print