Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Richard A. Leo (pictured), Peter J. Neufeld , Steven A. Drizin and Andrew E. Taslitz (University of San Francisco - School of Law , Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law - Innocence Project , Northwestern University - School of Law, Bluhm Legal Clinic and American University - Washington College of Law) have posted Promoting Accuracy in the Use of Confession Evidence: An Argument for Pre-Trial Reliability Assessments to Prevent Wrongful Convictions (Temple Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article argues that constitutional criminal procedure rules provide insufficient safeguards against the admissibility of false confession evidence that is the product of police contamination. We propose a specific framework, as well as several possible mechanisms, for courts to review and screen the reliability of confession evidence prior to trial. We also offer specific suggestions for how pre-trial reliability assessments for confession evidence could effectively and efficiently work in practice. Finally, we respond to several possible objections to the idea of pre-trial reliability assessments, underscoring that in a variety of contexts trial judges – consistent with their traditional gatekeeping role -- already routinely prevent evidence with sufficient indicia of unreliability from going to the jury.