“Scenes of a Crime” – Documentary of a False Confession

ScenesOfaCrimeSue Luttner posted a commentary on this film yesterday on her blog On SBS.

If you want to have a better understanding of how false confessions can happen, and why an innocent person would confess to something they didn’t do, here’s an ‘eye opener.’   The opening paragraph of Sue’s post:  “After watching “Scenes of a Crime” over the weekend, I now know why this potent documentary has garnered so much praise.  Filmmakers Grover Babcock and Blue Hadaegh have interspersed actual footage from the lengthy police interrogation of an accused father in Troy, New York, with excerpts from Reid Technique training films and commentary by key players in the case. The result is a clean, careful, and gripping illustration of how a man can be manipulated into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit.”

While this particular case involves SBS (shaken baby syndrome), the methods are the same as those used in general by law enforcement, and the Reid Technique for interrogation is prominent.  We’ve reported on the Reid Technique on this blog here, herehere, and here.

You can read Sue’s full post here.

2 responses to ““Scenes of a Crime” – Documentary of a False Confession

  1. Along these lines, This American Life had a segment on confessions. The second 20-minute segment entitled “Kim Possible,” starting at about the 10:40 mark, was quite illuminating. This detective had not done anything ethically or morally wrong, and yet he had still managed to elicit a false confession. He had quite an awakening, and now lectures other interrogators on how to avoid this pitfall. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/507/confessions

  2. Pingback: Adrian Thomas “Not Guilty” in Second Trial | Wrongful Convictions Blog

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