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Articles by James Doyle

Saul Kassin Probes Dangerous Practices in ‘Duped: Why Innocent People Confess-and Why We Believe Their Confessions’

By James M. Doyle

Do innocent people really confess to horrific crimes they did not commit?

Yes, they do. A masterful recent book from John Jay College of Criminal Justice Professor Saul Kassin, “Duped: Why Innocent People Confess—and Why We Believe Their Confessions,” proves it beyond any doubt.  

And Dr. Kassin’s book goes further than that. 

It shows how mobilizing scientific research about interrogations can reduce errors. Read this book and you will see how we can develop more information, get a better quality of information, and enhance the criminal system’s capacity to evaluate the information that we harvest. 

At the same time, Kassin’s analysis shows us why we can never guarantee that we have eliminated all mistakes—that questions of situated action will inevitably arise, and that room for human error in making judgments will always remain. 

“Duped” has too many virtues—clarity, balance, and comprehensiveness among them—for me to catalog them all here; you should really just read the book. 

But there are a couple of things to notice when you do. 

The Habit of Continuous Learning

Kassin is not the prototypical experthanding down wisdom from the podium to the students in the classroom and the apes on the frontlines—not a guy ...

Why Punishing Bad Prosecutors Won’t Fix a Bad System

by James M. Doyle, The Crime Report 

After 50 years of representing indigent defendants in urban criminal courts I have no objection to seeing prosecutors disciplined for their misconduct.

As a matter of fact, I find the prospect delectable.

But during those same 50 years I have represented a few (thousand) ...

 

 

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