Mon, 23 Jun 2003 04:01:30 GMT

When is a Confession Not a Confession?. WHEN IS A CONFESSION NOT A CONFESSION?….In the Washington Post today, we learn of a case in which three women were arrested for murder based on the mistaken idea that they had withdrawn money from a bank using the victim’s… [CalPundit]

It is stories like this that should make everyone nervous. Improper use of technology led to innocent people being jailed for over 3 weeks. The only reason that they were released was because the father of one of the girls discovered on his own that the video tape was not sychronized to the transaction records. Bad detective work by police does more to harm their reputation than almost anything else. The police were ready to tie these woman to a crime they did not commit, the police apparently lied to get an arrest warrant, and the system did not feel any need to apologize for the inconvenience. They did not even do anything to help transport the innocent people back to Arizona.

The power of authority to intimidate citizens or ruin their lives is why we have such strong safeguards in the Constitution. Lucky for these woman they were not held in secret detention for 3 months. Then they might very well have confessed, which would have looked funny with this evidence. But then, at secret trials, you can make sure that sort of evidence never emerges. We already have a 9/11 arrest that resulted in a coerced confession for a crime that Abdallah Higazy did not commit. The only reason he is not sitting in a cell somewhere is that his arrest and charges were made public. If he had been held alone, without a lawyer for 3 months, they could probably have gotten a plea from him also. I mean they were able to get a confession for a crime that he was innocent of. Who knows what another month or two of interrogation would have gotten?