False Confessions Program on PIsDeclassified.com
by Brian McGuinness 7-23-2010

I appeared on Francie Koehler’s new Voice of America internet radio show yesterday along with my brother Patrick McGuinness, a criminal lawyer in Jacksonville, FL and San Francisco based false confessions expert and author of Police Interrogation and American Justice, Dr. Richard Leo. Dr. Leo’s research is fascinating; I will be buying his book soon. If you Google his name, you will find a December 2007 article that appeared in The Champion entitled The Problem of False Confessions in America. This article will give you a summary of some of the research in this field which will open your eyes to the problem of police induced confessions.

The radio program can be found at this link:


Among other things, we discussed the Brenton Butler case in Jacksonville. Pat and Co-counsel Ann Finnell very ably represented this young man who was beaten by the police and intimidated into signing a false confession for the murder of a tourist. I had a role in the investigation: locating witnesses and researching whether tears could be scientifically traced to a document; Brenton had been crying while signing his confession. The case and trial were the subject of an Oscar winning documentary. The New York Times called it an “unvarnished look at the American criminal justice system”. The film is “Murder on a Sunday Morning”.

Tune in to PIsDeclassified next week where my friend and colleague, David Fechheimer along with Barry Simon will talk about their investigation in Afghanistan while representing John Walker Lindh "The American Taliban".

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