Tuesday, March 6, 2007
In this discussion, Richard will discuss the psychology of police interrogation, how and why it can and does lead to false confessions from the innocent, why the innocent false confess, the consequences of false confession in the American criminal justice system, and what reforms can be put in place to prevent and minimize false confessions from occurring in the first place."
Richard A. Leo, Ph.D., J.D. is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco. He was formerly an assistant professor of sociology and adjunct professor of law at the University of Colorado, Boulder (1994-1997) and an associate professor of criminology and an associate professor psychology at the University of California, Irvine (1997-2006).
He is well-known as one of the nation's leading experts on the psychology and practice of police interrogation, psychological coercion and false confessions. He has consulted and/or testified as an expert witness in hundreds of criminal and civil cases involving disputed interrogations and confessions; he also regularly lectures to criminal defense attorneys, judges, police, prosecutors and forensic psychologists across the United States and occasionally in other countries; and his research is often featured in the nation's print and electronic media.
Over the last fifteen years, Dr. Leo has conducted many empirical studies and published numerous articles in leading social science journals and law reviews on the subjects of police interrogation, Miranda, false confessions, and wrongful convictions, among others.
His research and writings have been repeatedly cited by appellate courts in the United States and Canada, including the United States Supreme Court. With George Thomas III, he has co-authored The Miranda Debate: Law, Justice and Policing (Northeastern University Press, 1998), and has just completed Police Interrogation and American Justice, which will be published by Harvard University Press in 2007.
With Tom Wells, he is currently completing another book, Web of Lies: Murder and Injustice in Virginia, which will be published by The New Press in 2008. He has won awards for research excellence and distinction from many professional organizations, including from the American Society of Criminology, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology. [Mark Godsey]