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Atty. Vince Doyle - Wrongful Convictions

Nov 18, 2012|

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It takes its hardline. And on news radio nine. And what do we can just talk politics there were two things that happened this week there really are going to maybe. Change some of the debate in Albany. Over a lot of criminal justice issues and especially what we do in regard to wrongful convictions you probably saw on the news earlier this week. Well indeed Jack Peter's got a settlement of two point seven million dollars. And at the time I'm sure there are people have thought. Is that right amount of money how can we just by that amount of money saved an argument for -- second -- touch on that. And then it's later in the week it's happened again. Erie county district attorney francs in. That a guy that's been imprisoned for six years pleaded guilty actually two a double murder might not have done if the feds have charged two other people. With a crime that originally Jose Ortiz was convicted of he spent the last six years in jail the DA says he's now going to be looking at this issue. And it might be another case of wrongful conviction. If you look at the whole history of this of course you have to bring in. Two -- Sanchez in the bike -- were very pissed and that there arm and there are many things talk about -- so we decided to once again bring in. Vincent Doyle the immediate past president of the new York state bar association. The last time he was -- he was president I gotta say when we had in the last time. I got emails people saying this topic is so big. That it deserves a larger airing some light of what happened in the news this week we're we're gonna do that right now thanks for joining us. Data from good -- Talk to me about the kind of reforms that you and the bar association. Think are necessary in order to. Minimize or maybe even on made a lot of guessing that's probably not entirely possible. But minimize the kind of wrongful convictions that led to the settlement in the detect case that led to the investigation -- he's looking at right now. -- -- This is a problem that the legal system has been aware of for quite a number of years in the new York state bar association. I studied it in depth over the past five to six years. Of course is all begins with DNA. Through the course of history there occasionally been reports of someone being wrongfully convicted right but there were wasn't really assigned to the way to prove it -- with the advent of DNA and and the recognition of the important some validity of the testing of course. We have now learned that there is a way to scientifically prove that some people convicted of some crimes. Were wrongfully convicted and that's really what brought attention to the problems. And in fact in New York over the past. Ten to fifteen years are being over fifty cases of people exonerated who would spend sometimes years or decades in jail. And those are people for the most part whose innocence was proven by DNA. So the state are studied the problem looking to try to figure out. How common is it and how can we tried to reduce the likelihood if not prevented. How common is that let's start right there well first saw there's really no way to know and the reason I say that is people are used to citing the figures over fifty cases in New York. Over 300 cases across the country. Dozens of people were on death row would be it would have been XQ did in those states who have the death penalty. But those are almost all cases where there was DNA available to prove innocence. DNA in fact is available in very small percentage of crimes. Think about it it's only available when there's an exchange of either bodily fluids or immaterial blood skin. Something else to test but if I believe all the TV shows I walk into a room and starts stabbing people or or bumping into furniture. I'm going to hair follicle or something behind now. Well you know certainly that's become more likely you're starting to see testing for DNA cases he never had before. Just for example. It's routine now an error area for the district attorney's office and the police to do testing in car cases and noble task for. A skin samples are things in settlement terror cases which people wouldn't think -- But infected still a small percentage is still less than 10% of all crimes that are prosecuted. Now we know that there is -- statistically significant percentage of wrongful convictions in those cases where there is -- to test. There's nothing that tells us that it would be any smaller in those cases where there is no DNA so personally I think most people started the problem think. That our knowledge about how many wrongful convictions -- are is vastly underestimated her much more than our report that our rights of those cases where DNA is not an issue. Let's look at the one that the DA this week is about take up hosts say Ortiz. In jail for six years confessed. You're looking at -- up reform and video interrogations -- that way if someone does confessed. You're at least have a record of what kind of -- confessional was to get to -- and that exactly -- our study -- the -- our -- showed it was consistent with other national studies. That there are some factors that are common. Indies -- wrongful convictions the most common causes. And they include. Improper identification faulty identification witness testifying that the person who did it being certain -- it. False confessions surprises many people -- people would say well I would never confessed to something I didn't do if they confessed they must be guilty. In fact and 25% of the cases. In our state and nationally. Where there is DNA proof that the wrong person was convicted that person confessed. Or pled guilty. I'm you know so it is very common for this to happen and a lot of reason to get back in the third most common. So faulty identification false confessions are what these people are referred to as. Our government practices meaning things that the prosecutor -- the police did. That contributed feeling to turn over favorable evidence investigation techniques that were faulty. Not always intentional sometimes very well intentioned by the police to try to get who they thought was a great person. But nonetheless contributed to the wrong result do you think the police in any way and again maybe not intentionally just because they're so driven to solve this thing. Do they bully people into confessing. Well. You know. -- -- there are scientific sociological studies about what would cause someone to confessed. Or make an increment -- statement to a crime that they didn't commit. And -- -- briefly describe that they didn't experiment where they had people working at a computer in the told them. Where every due to increased press the escape key. Does that will crash the whole system. And they were actually videotaped him. And the person would work along the subject of the experiment. And suddenly the computer would go blank and they would run into the room mates that you press the escape key they would crash it on purpose you tell -- our purpose okay and the person would -- in Beardsley no I didn't I didn't press it. So we'll listen we need you to talk to you know the head of the program and they would bring in. A police officer trained in interrogation techniques the same ones that police officers are trained to use there and every year investigation that they do. And over 70% of the people ended up confessing. That they had done it. In response to the aggressive interrogation because by that point they believe well maybe I didn't I didn't know maybe I didn't I didn't know maybe -- get out of this room with I just said I -- it's the idea. The you know the police are trained -- certain techniques an increase of person to believe it's in the best interest to simply say that they did it. Now the other amazing thing that about that experiment is they brought people back the next day when they -- 24 hours to clear there had. And all over half of the people would contrast still believe that they had done it. May have done what scientists call internalize it they actually came to believe that they had done it. Now I think that's very consistent with the findings of of the 25% of false confessions so many that -- -- about the reforms that we weren't done yet regarding the problem of false confessions and interrogation techniques. It's very simple put a video camera in every room where the police do interrogations. It's very low cost it costs somewhere around 5000 to 7000 hours. To do each state of the art system. That by the -- concealed so the person doesn't have to know on the please don't have to -- but it would videotaping and audio record everything that happens in the room. Why do we want that. So we can see what techniques the police you missed. Were they overly aggressive worthy overcoming. A you know person's actual innocence and and encouraging them to falsely confessed. And by the way I've you know criminal defense lawyer does these cases in almost every case I have word. A defendant has confessed. My client comes in DC with a police promised me this premise that the threaten me this way or that way. And when I talked to the police are you know interview them. The end of denying that. I would like to have an actual video tapes or know what happened I think the judge would I know jurors would like -- have an actual videotape because. Who'd they atrocity can trust with the police say what the defense as. And there's no reason in this day and change yeah no videotape is an audiotape is so prevalent. The one place we would really like to have this is in a room where someone suspected of serious crime is being questioned about it. 8030930s. Or number if you'd like to join us Vincent loyalists here. Partner and Connors and volleyed -- locally but a more importantly and we're trying about statewide reforms he's the immediate past president. Of the new York state bar association they are pushing for these reforms to try and may be cut down on wrongful convictions OK now you said. He's videotape she's 803 on 930s number by the way now would be the perfect time to get in on the conversation he's here with us for -- pretty much most of the hour 803930. 5000 dollars a room to install this video equipment. Multiply that by I don't even know how many rooms you're talking huge amounts of money here right well -- He's speaking it is I think an audience increasingly. If you take the money that was recently paid to indeed Jack. You could fund the -- -- every counties in the entire -- actually you could fund several rooms and every county really -- across point seven zillion would take care of this project it would take care of this project now in fact. Many police agencies across the state. Have these rooms not all many do. The reason for that is there there have been volunteer projects with co pilot projects in the state are actually administered one we'd gotten a grant from. That the state government and we ourselves the state are bought the equipment and put this into. -- police precincts in four counties across the state. And we worked with the police and the DA's office the court system to make sure that they Europe and -- running properly and let me tell you. The biggest fans of doings of having these this recording equipment and doing this. Are the police agencies in those four counties. They love it Dave told us that they will go -- they have gone to the legislature to testify come to our Steve are proceeding to testify and say. Everyone should be doing this it helps a police. Catch the bad guys. It helps them weed out the people who work in -- train their officers in the right way to do interrogations. They have actual video record that they can showed people say here's what you did right here's what you did wrong. They become the biggest advocates for. That to me is very interesting because again I don't know if it's it's so much an intentional thing but if it's part of their training. I use you spoke of the computer simulation the idea that folks that didn't hit the escape button felt that they did. If it's part of the training and part of what the please do -- to sort of plant that are at least attempt to give someone an incentive say yes I did do it. You would think that they wouldn't therefore want the video because it's going to expose them doing bad things while -- Exactly and the places that we've visited these four counties and others that do this on a pilot basis. Many times of the defense attorneys and a coming up to us and say. Why did you do this this is -- worst evidence against her clients. Because the video shows a very. Normal appearing person who's just confessing and on -- -- their -- of course many of those clients will. Turn around and tell their defense attorneys while they. They threatened me that he coerced it out of me in the videotape shows that that's not the case how many times does someone confessed to police. But then in in a trial plead not guilty and recant. Well it it does happen and always I said you know we do know there is proof that there are people who make. Incriminating statements word guilty who've done it for some other reason so it's a defense attorney you have to you have to weed through that. Because sometimes they will legitimately be -- I wish I was threaten or it was chorus where there were some other reason. The statistics by the way I'm and those who. Through DNA we can prove. Falsely confessed they are overwhelmingly. Members of what I would referred to -- vulnerable populations they are minors. There are people whose. A command of English is now in meeting at their first language they -- people low IQ levels are are lower. So there are cultural intellectual sociological things are going to steer people that are more prone. Too did the exact type of influence and and pressures that can police interrogation -- 8030930s. -- remember the lines are starting to -- we do have room for you were gonna take quick break command on the other side. It's practically phone calls the rest the whale to the top the hour and Meet the Press. Vincent loyalists here immediate past president of the new York state bar association. It's hard line on news radio 9:30 AM and 107 point seven FM WB yen this is -- both. Doing something a little bit different this week but again the end of the political season kind of gives us the chance to look at some of the broader issues that are out there and this is particularly a week where. The Erie county district attorney says he's could be investigating a case of wrongful conviction involving a man who's been in jail for six years. Feds have just charge someone else with the murder. And this was also -- week where -- eject Peters got two point seven million for her wrongful conviction. That's just part of that story we figured this would be the perfect day to bring back. Vincent Doyle immediate past president of the new York state bar association. You've heard him talk a little bit about some of the reforms they want -- At least cut down on wrongful convictions. And he's with us almost to the top of the hours let's take as many phone calls we can let's kick it off with John it's your turn high. Hi my -- it now walk I would give recently interviewed -- administration about how will apple could reach it. And how out of let's not on the things we talked about that a lot of the lot back case to and -- and I'm forty now for thirteen. Well they've forced sixteen year old -- And confessed to a murder of potato and -- murder that he had no knowledge. And what a lot trousers that you could tell that the guy we didn't understand has seventeen years old what you detailed. He was trying to tell everybody -- They've forced him to do -- but. It's -- do remember I don't or not he was allowed to testify is that it's been a big deal we -- -- -- between -- the real well. Over 84 years in jail for something net you know we didn't do. And the big thing is that. Everywhere fact understand at the -- begin to -- that we didn't do it but it seemed like it took forever. He indication covenant -- John. Look let it -- just to recap your case a little bit. You spent from what I understand about 1516 years in jail. -- -- to the murder of a guy named William Crawford. I spent 22 years in jail. But the depth of -- the man crop yet. And you say that you didn't convicted or are you didn't commit that's where does that case stand now in terms of proving that you didn't do this and may be getting you some sort of threats of not retribution -- I'm looking for compensation. Stated that this is the week where then it's ejected and pick up and indeed Jack what she got. Our local conviction and -- other -- going on about wrongful conviction that we have a real problem. Here and New York or at W locals say will -- convictions. And I think that is the good thing at least for the -- and marketing that oh with thirty some years ago and like you say we have the eight and ordered our pool and -- book. What we have. Well there aren't we file the paperwork that the district attorney with -- mark that would it definitely. Caught the jury -- come back with a different verdict that we dated Andy and possessing -- the -- worst piece ship need to read. Palm interview that down -- go out and -- it when they out investigating a martyr and come back to the armed they can help -- the -- report. 48 the Purdue. And I actually. However we would only turned over seven -- there was thirty to Rio that was never turned over to look and within those 33. It's old old story about -- what the murderer the real murderer and everything and they even took the real murderer and you jump to testify against her. As into the indeed Jack -- -- -- real martyr. -- packet where walkways. Even deal that he. So they want our -- come to -- You'll find out that the person there are really killed with the Crawford. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Our entire and I heard about it and being considered right now around December that affected they have until December the second X sixty days that the court. Gave him the answer motion. Is in -- court right now and -- can be effective than last April and answer. We haven't turned on Steve -- anthem on -- in glitter should defend the time that -- yeah. And he won't put together an emotional. And we about the -- are now. Great great stuff I'm glad you called and I'm short on time and I need to move on here. Attorney Vincent -- something he said there resonates with the plan you have for reform the idea that there needs to be. More information sharing between the prosecution and the defense these these. And that's right and in because mr. Walker's case is still pending. You know I can't comment on can speak more generally are generally exactly and and and something he -- does resonate -- -- it is. The concept of what we call discovery attorneys referred to the process of the two parties in the lawsuit. Whether it's criminal or civil exchanging information with -- each -- -- discovery process. In criminal cases the discovery process is particularly important. Of crimes are investigated by the police there reviewed by the prosecutors -- their church often the defense attorney has no access to any information. Other than what the discovery process will provide to them. And in many of these cases it's it's it's one of the three most common causes that referred to before. Is the government practices. Information that should have been shooter is not sheer. Whether intentional all right hold that thought we'll pick it up on the other side of the news -- tired -- news radio 9:30 AM one of seven point seven FM WB and if you're on hold stay right there we will get to this is Dave Veba we're talking about wrongful convictions they've been in the news quite a bit lately. We have Vincent Doyle here he's an attorney with Connors and the -- a partner there he's also in this kind of why we got a man. The immediate past president of the new York state bar association. They've been pushing for some reforms that will cut down on wrongful convictions among them they want video interrogation. They want to better discovery obviously more use of DNA and some lineup changes two with police 8030930s. The number. And I'm in love -- thanks for reading -- on the air. Are you there -- I it's your turn. Now it's. That's close. Allies just. Anybody that doesn't believe. Terrorism the video surveillance. Like. -- currently where I mean. There aren't very TM machine in the world. Error. Error an ever greater cash drawer of the world. Parents. -- air if you -- see well or. Or my favorite shows just person who wrote Trout yeah and it shows and it shows. People. Others don't care run some ball well there are cameras. In stores or Iran or somebody you know there are cameras. -- where. So you would say. You're a parent most of this stuff would be record. And I don't there's I understood as a trial -- let it. And do your cellular crowd or -- -- was. You know a lot of places -- -- sorry about. And it's got some ordered. Leading sure incorporated. And over trying. These air show. In him. Throw -- this stuff -- Serious saying let's get his comment that there's two issues that of the integration of all these video feeds where one person to watch everything. Privacy concerns within -- out. Yeah I think there are privacy concerns I mean I think people would be surprised to know. How often they are videotaped in the daily life going to work going to beat him as a gentleman mentioned going to store. So I think there are privacy concerns but. What it does show which is -- this technologies out there it's very easy to set up a system to videotape somewhere. And what I'm saying is knowing the high cost of crime and the high cost of -- wrongful convictions but. Trying to prevent self crime. The one place I think we'd want to have them is where -- interrogation room interrogated exactly it's interesting though how when you think about it I'm sure the entrance to the the top house probably has a camera on it. Most or many. Police cars have dashboard cams we've all seen that video and yet they don't have -- here how much how much camera. Camera penetration is there how many how many still need this how many already have. Well one big development within the last few months the the chief of the police in New York City. Announced that he supported that this man that was very interesting to us because for years when we've been lobbying to to mandate this across the state. The argument we heard was. Some of the police agencies particularly those in New York City oppose it because would be difficult it would be expensive. So the the the active support and the intention of the chief of police in New York City. To implement this -- your city is huge for us. What we need to do now is find out where are those counties in those police agencies across state that don't have it now. We know it's in the four cronies that we did pilot projects and we know which in about when he other counties that the state to pilot projects and we need to make sure it's -- every counting every policing agency that needs let's say a takeoff from wells well Wayne hi you're on the air. Like you're larger I have a question and has a direct responsibility. All live like question and I'm looking around there. But. Or imminently as well portrait does and it's -- -- thought after the fact that somebody may have been -- I would overlook the two point seven million dollars -- most settlements are pretty irate taxpayers I just wondered why the taxpayers or the public whatever their responsibility. It's the individual at the time have a fair trial. Now it will open and that too was actually you are -- some act where evidence had been withheld other than -- street plunged. I think you can help both parties responsible both criminally and double agent for the money. That you were probably -- a -- just stop that and sort all simple action. So ball like question what elements are met your -- who paid me the that merger merger. There are. -- so when money comes from -- He's already shaking his head looks like there's some agreement here grad who exactly do just a little background on it for so there's the law in in the court of claims that it. Someone who has been convicted and is exonerated. Is essentially entitled it's a little more complicated is essentially entitled to automatic money from the state. They don't have to prove malfeasance in -- to prove someone intentionally. Contributed. They merely need to prove that they were wrongfully convicted they've been exonerated of all the charges that were against them. And that they themselves did not contribute. To the conviction now that has been interpret mostly to mean that the ultimate -- passer gives a lot of interpretation and wiggle room at that last part exactly. Does and if someone is confessed were pleads guilty. Often their precluded. -- So now that's one part of it in the gentleman mentioned well what if someone actively contributed. That leads week's second lawsuit that someone who's wrongfully convicted can file. There are hurdles too bad because often the police and prosecutors have immunity from that. But many people were wrongfully convicted seek both the audit made of money from the state and yes it comes from taxpayers. From our money over the past ten years been over sixty million dollars in reported settlements. -- these cases that come from our tax money. And then you have the second lawsuit but that again they have to overcome the immunity -- By approving essentially that someone did something -- hero all right let's squeeze in one last call Jeffrey make sure your radios turned down objection now or had high. Yeah let it gently and comment about the -- walker. Movie will be out. How to -- -- He failed to mention that he was on the radio. All right to where were real short on time Tommy -- did this has been dramatized in the movie or are putting on documentarian. I've gotten a call made by doctor -- danger. Cause of -- that the lady. Yeah. The outcome. Thirtieth the market actually. We look forward for justice. -- doctor and couldn't buy dot defeated saint. -- bit by uncovering blank CD. All right -- budget chimed in with that it's it's extra information to the earlier crawl thanks for doing that. Closing moments here against oil and where does this all stand in the legislature let's let's bring it home to to the the elected officials -- the the politics of at all. What are their bills out there are bills that have probably been rejected in past years that are coming up again yeah and it's not uncommon for bills they often need that's several times several sessions. We have a package in New York City bar association has a package of six bills. Other groups have joined us other bar associations the innocence project which is very well respected renowned investors joined us. It calls for the things we talked about videotaping of interrogations. Reform of the methods by which week obtain identifications. Increased discovery particularly what's called greedy favorable information should be turned over at the earliest possibility. Sold those bills are all pending we really had some traction on them last year we felt we had a reasonable chance. It turns out that the one part that was kind of picked out was the DNA bank expansion people remember. That the legislature expanded. The number of crimes for which team is collected something we had supported we hoped it would be done as part of the package of of other reforms. But every one that we talked to in the legislature including in the governor's office said they would revisit those things this year so we hope. With -- new momentum particularly in this Syrian their cases down in New York City. That have come out recently. Of wrongful convictions as well. We hope you'll be renewed effort in interest and we'll see these this package this isn't the typical case of support in one house and not the other. Well. For some of them yes I think you know it it's. Some of these bills are more controversial than others we think summer common sense and every -- support. But -- occasionally there are things that that are supported there's a negotiation process but our hope is that they'll all be look at MLB don't. A reasonably the last thing I did wanna mention god we've done a lot of focus about. Reforms to how the police or other prosecutors do something. Just to repeat my experience most of these wrongful convictions are not the result. Of intentional misconduct by the police or the prosecutors it's very well intentioned they think they have the right person it's just that the procedures need to be tightened. And finally we didn't talk about but many wrongful convictions or contributed to. By -- work on behalf of the offenders case the defense attorneys most usually from the public defense system. Our what we've referred to -- indigent defense system in the state the warriors were provided to people can't afford to hire their own. That system is broken it needs to be reformed as well. And we have a package of a reforms that were recommended that is well that would hope it is well if they have good lawyers perhaps these problems can be -- -- Before the spend decades in jail however -- David Gregory's. As on Meet the Press will have to leave it there specifically for talking about the state legislature that's what we're going to do and our next segment stay with us Ken Lovett from the New York Daily News will be here how what is the make -- of the New York State Senate right now headed into the the next term after the elections will be ruled by Democrats or Republicans. Nobody quite knows yet we'll talk about that and stir up -- for being here thank you. That's what next on hardline it's news radio 9:30 AM one of seven point seven FM WB yen.