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By Lisa E. Hasel and Saul M. Kassin


nitive confirmation processes that affect juries may also corrupt witnesses who are apprised of confessions. There is anecdotal support for this possibility. In one case, Illinois defendant Michael Evans was convicted of rape and murder on the basis of a lone eyewitness identification until DNA testing established his innocence. Afterward, the witness revealed that she had harbored doubts about her identification. ‘‘But then I was told there was a confession,’ ’ she said. ‘‘And that’s how they convinced me that there was more to it than just me’ ’ (Michael Evans v. City of Chicago, et al., 2006, p. 274). In a second case, Pennsylvania defendant Barry Laughman’s confession to rape and murder was contradicted by blood-typing evidence. The state forensic chemist went on to concoct four ‘‘theories,’ ’ none grounded in science, to explain away the mismatch. Sixteen years later, Laughman was set free (Innocence Project, 2008b). Recen

Year: 2013
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