Slate Magazine: You Can't Hide Your Genes

This article discusses recent examples of U.S. police accessing private databases of DNA records, meaning non-governmental/non-police databases, such as those maintained by academics for research, by healthcare professionals for medical treatment, or by private companies for genealogy. The long-unsolved case of the so-called Golden State Killer, for example, was recently closed based on police investigation into databases of family/genealogical databases. 

These types of investigations call to mind Erin Murphy’s research on the limits of DNA evidence -- and the dangers of police having over-confidence in evidence when only a partial or familial match is identified. 

You Can't Hide Your Genes [link to article]
Slate Magazine

"But these kinds of searches run counter to important principles of medical ethics and criminal justice. Effective health care and advances in research depend on maintaining public trust in the security and privacy of genetic data. Making clinical and research biobanks accessible to law enforcement searches radically alters the risk-benefit calculus that supports clinical and research endeavors. Indeed, strong protections against unwarranted government searches may be essential to ensure that citizen support for and participation in genetic research a

Sixth Tone: Man Exonerated After Longest-Ever Wrongfully Served Term

Original Source: http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1002135/man-exonerated-after-longest-ever-wrongfully-served-term

Twenty-eight years after he was first charged with a murder he didn’t commit, 50-year-old Liu Zhonglin was finally acquitted Friday after the longest known period of wrongful imprisonment in Chinese history.

Liu’s lawyer condemned the ruling as too little, too late. “It has taken too long to right these injustices,” Zhang Yupeng told Sixth Tone in a phone interview, adding that his client would seek further redress for his mistreatment.

Liu was apprehended in October 1990 when police detained him on suspicion of murdering Zheng Dianrong, a woman from Huimin Village in northeastern China’s Jilin province who had been missing for a year when her body was discovered in a local farmer’s field. In 1994, a municipal court sentenced Liu to death with a two-year suspension, which was later commuted to 25 years’ imprisonment. He remained behind bars for a record-breaking 9,215 days until his release in January 2016.

Although the Jilin High People’s Court granted Liu a retrial in 2012, his case remained unresolved for six more years until long after he had completed his sentence. According to China’s Criminal Procedure Law, retrial cases should be completed within six months.

Throughout his 1994 trial, Liu did not have a lawyer present. Case records show that he pleaded guilty but later denied that his confessions were genuine. Liu maintains that local police tortured him into confessing, at one point damaging one of his toes so badly that it had to be amputated.

Liu Zhonglin holds the Jilin High People’s Court’s verdict of innocence in Changchun, Jilin province, April 20, 2018. Song Jiangxuan for Sixth Tone
For years after his conviction, Liu and his family appealed for a retrial but were met with silence by the courts. Finally, in 2012, the Jilin High People’s Court agreed to hear Liu’s case again, but Liu was unable to clear his name before his sentence expired in 2016. Later that year, his case was finally heard again.

The lawyer Zhang, who has fought Liu’s case since March 2015, believes the original verdict never should have stood. “This case was not complicated,” he said. “Most of the facts are unclear, and the evidence [leading to Liu’s conviction] is insufficient.” Zhang also said he had to hurdle “several obstacles” after accepting the case, claiming that the court only granted him access to Liu’s case files at the end of 2015.

In the run-up to Friday’s acquittal, Chinese media reports cast doubt on several key points in Liu’s case. In addition to the inconsistency of his confessions, Liu often seemed to misremember the details of the crime, admitting to killing Zheng with various weapons and for different motives. Eyewitnesses also gave conflicting accounts about the number of people who kidnapped Zheng before she was killed. Liu maintains that all his confessions were extracted under duress.

In an interview with Beijing Youth Daily in 2017, Liu said that he was outraged when his cellmates congratulated him before his release. “Why should I feel happy? I’m only getting out because I’ve served my full sentence. I’ve still not been proved innocent,” Liu said. “[I told them] I’m not guilty. I will redress that injustice once I’m out.”

Liu’s period in jail breaks China’s previous record for wrongful imprisonment set by Chen Man, who was convicted of murdering a woman in 1992 in southern China’s Hainan province and served 8,437 days — nearly 23 years — for the crime before being released in 2016.

Before today’s announcement, Liu’s family claimed they received threatening phone calls from unknown individuals demanding that Liu drop his appeal. Liu said that since his release, he has been called a “murderer” by people who recognize him in the street.

“He has been hoping for this outcome for 28 years, and deserves it,” Zhang concluded, adding that Liu now intends to prosecute the police officers he says tortured him — a claim not mentioned in Friday’s verdict. Liu will also demand compensation from the state for wrongful imprisonment, Zhang said. After Chen was released in 2016, the Chinese government paid him compensation of 2.75 million yuan ($437,000).

Chinese courts have a conviction rate approaching 100 percent, but recent judicial reform has resulted in a growing number of cases being overturned. In 2014, the Supreme People’s Court released guidelines to improve the management of potentially wrongful convictions.

Earlier this month, five prisoners in eastern China were acquitted of murdering an 18-year-old woman in 1996. And in December 2016, Nie Shubin was proclaimed innocent of the 1994 rape and murder of a woman — more than two decades after being executed for the crime.

Editor: Matthew Walsh.

 

为什么这么多人会承认自己没犯下的罪行?

作者: , 费利克斯·佩蒂(Felix Petty)
链接:http://www.vice.cn/read/why-do-so-many-people-confess-to-crimes-they-didnt-commit
©️ 异视异色(北京)文化传播有限公司
版权所有,未经授权不得转载以及以任何形式使用,违者必究。

审讯记录能够很好地帮助我们判断某个认罪是不是虚假认罪,并让我们知道应该如何改进我们的审讯手段。这是一个好的开始。 狱中生活 是非盈利性新闻机构 “马歇尔计划”(The Marshall Project)与 VICE 正在进行的合作项目,让生活和工作在刑事司法系统的人们以第一人称讲述他们的故事。我们将在接下来的每个周五连载 “狱中生活” 专栏。 “马歇尔计划” 刚刚获得2016年普利策新闻奖100周年的解释性报道奖荣誉。 “你有权保持沉默。” 如果你看过成千上万的犯罪剧中的一部,那么你一定知道那些被逮捕审讯的嫌犯听到的第一个警告是什么。还有第二个: “你所说的一切都将成为呈堂证供。” —— 这是米兰达警告,因1966年米兰达诉亚利桑那州案(Miranda v. Arizona)而得名,今年的6月13号是它生效50周年纪念日。 在过去50年间,米兰达警告已经变得如此普遍,以至于人们很容易忘记它的起源与初衷:米兰达警告是最高法院30年案件审理的结晶,它被设计用于保护犯罪嫌疑人在拘禁期间免受警察虐待。它是最早的避免暴力与折磨的举措之一,最重要的用途是防止出现不可信的招供,也就是虚假认罪。 在1966年,虚假认罪还属于罕见情况,而50年后,我们已经见证了数百名无辜被告在听到米兰达警告后依然承认自己犯下了可怕的罪行。是时候重新审视一下这个问题了。 无辜的人们真的会未经折磨就认罪吗? 为什么一个无辜的人会承认自己杀了人或者犯下了其他可怕的暴行呢? 原因之一是刑讯逼供 —— 1936年的布朗诉密西西比州案(Brown v. Mississippi)就是如此。这是最高法庭推翻州法院认罪供述的第一起案件,该案三名嫌犯遭受了数日拷问,在被问到其中一名被告被鞭子抽得有多狠时,代理副警长作证说道:“对一个黑鬼来说不算什么;如果交给我的话,我会下手更狠。” 在1936到1966年间,刑讯逼供现象大量减少,这是美国法院与刑事司法改革者的一大成就。当米兰达法案生效之时,一场转向更加 “现代的” 审讯手段的变革正在进行中 —— 隔离、诓哄、操纵和疲劳战等审讯方式正在逐渐取代殴打。没有了折磨与死亡威胁,一个无辜的嫌犯应该就不会承认犯下重罪了吧,认罪也就应该成为判断有罪的强有力证据 —— 可我们知道,虚假认罪依然会时常发生。

作者: , 费利克斯·佩蒂(Felix Petty)
链接:http://www.vice.cn/read/why-do-so-many-people-confess-to-crimes-they-didnt-commit
©️ 异视异色(北京)文化传播有限公司
版权所有,未经授权不得转载以及以任何形式使用,违者必究。

全国脱罪登记机构(The National Registry of Exonerations)已收集了美国从1989年到2016年6月7日的1810个脱罪案例,其中包括227个案件中的认过罪的清白男女 —— 占总数的13%。这些人都接到过米兰达警告(至少警方是这么说的),而且将近四分之三的虚假认罪是命案。 虚假认罪是个极其严重的问题,不仅仅是还嫌疑人清白就能解决的。首先,大部分虚假认罪的嫌疑人都没有被定罪。在2004年的一个经典案例研究中,史蒂文·德里岑(Steven Drizin)和理查德·里奥(Richard Leo)识别出了美国从1971年到2002年间的125个被证明是虚假认罪的的案例,而其中只有三分之一属于定罪后再免除指控的情况 —— 大多数案件都因指控无铁证而在审判前被撤销,或者根本就没有被记录在册。 第二,建立在虚假认罪基础上的定罪很少能够被推翻 —— 其实所有的错误定罪都是如此,但对因认罪而定罪的案件来说更是如此,毕竟人们很难相信已经认罪的人是无辜的。在很多案件中,已认罪的嫌疑人的成功脱罪大多是建立在 DNA 报告上的 —— 只有这种最不容置疑的证据才足以推翻供述。而在某些案例中,即使铁证如山的 DNA 证据也不起作用。在1992年10月,在经受了4天的审讯折磨后,19岁的胡安·里维拉(Juan Rivera)违心承认了在伊利诺伊州莱克县奸杀了一名11岁的女孩 —— 实际上他认了两次罪,因为他第一次的供认漏洞百出,所以那些警探们又让他供认了一次,“修改” 了矛盾之处,而当时里维拉正处在精神崩溃的状态。 里维拉在1993年被判定犯有谋杀罪,又因为那次定罪中的诸多法律错误而在1996年被重新定罪。2005年,DNA 检测证明另一个男人才是受害者尸体上精液的来源,里维拉的定罪因而被推翻,但是检方让他再次受审。2009年,尽管有 DNA 证据,里维拉又被第三次定罪。最终在2011年,伊利诺伊州申诉法庭认定里维拉的定罪为 “不公正,不成立” 而取消指控。 即使在 DNA 证据能够证明其清白的情况下,胡安·里维拉也只是艰难地推翻了他的虚假认罪;而如果不是因为这个证据,他今天还在监狱中 —— 与其他那些没有 DNA 证据的无辜被告一样。 共同被告的的虚假认罪 在很多案件中,无辜嫌疑人的认罪还会牵连其他同样无辜的人 —— 有些人说的供词只是他们觉得审讯者想听的。比如约翰·科格特(John Kogut)不仅虚假承认了自己参与谋杀,还说他和他的两个朋友丹尼斯·霍尔斯特德(Dennis Halsted)以及约翰·雷斯蒂沃(John Restivo)共同作案,导致这二人和科格特一样都在狱中待了20年才脱罪。 还有些认罪的无辜嫌疑人会将罪责栽赃到他人身上来减少自己的刑期,比如当理查德·奥查阿(Richard Ochoa)因被指控于1988年在德克萨斯州的奥斯汀谋杀南希·德普瑞斯特(Nancy DePriest)而面临死刑时,他不仅认了罪,而且指认他的室友理查德·丹奇格(Richard Danziger)为真正的杀人者,并同意作证指控丹奇格。后来他们都被定罪并被判终身监禁 —— 直到2002年因为 DNA 证据而脱罪。 机构的记录中有195件卷入其他无辜共同被告的案例,占所有案例的11%。而整体结果是,无辜被告认罪、无辜被告被共犯的虚假认罪卷入以及两者兼具的情况,占所有脱罪案件的19% 以及谋杀脱罪案件的34%。 哪些人会做出虚假认罪? 各种各样的人都会虚假认罪,但是有两类人群格外容易这么做 —— 年轻人,以及那些患有精神疾病的人。

作者: , 费利克斯·佩蒂(Felix Petty)
链接:http://www.vice.cn/read/why-do-so-many-people-confess-to-crimes-they-didnt-commit
©️ 异视异色(北京)文化传播有限公司
版权所有,未经授权不得转载以及以任何形式使用,违者必究。