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Monday, September 4, 2006

Jury Sends Message to Detectives: Stop Coercive Interrogations

washingtonpost.com: A civil jury in Prince George's County awarded nearly $6.4 million yesterday to a man who spent more than eight months in jail after he was interrogated for over 38 hours by homicide detectives, who then charged him with murdering his wife based solely on statements he allegedly made during the marathon interviews.

The award to Keith Longtin after the two-week trial is believed to be the largest ever made by a jury in a civil case involving abuse by Prince George's police. Longtin, now 50, was released from jail only after DNA evidence found in his slain wife was matched with a serial rapist. The sexual offender was later convicted of the murder.

The jury found that county detectives engaged in a pattern of violating the rights of defendants, said Cary J. Hansel, one of Longtin's attorneys. "We hope this signals the end of lengthy, coercive police interrogations in Prince George's County," said Timothy F. Maloney, Longtin's other attorney.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2006/09/wrongly_incarce.html

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