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An Interrogator's Perspective on Netfilx's "Making a Murderer"


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An Interrogator's Perspective on Netfilx's "Making a Murderer"

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An Interrogator's Perspective on Netfilx's "Making a Murderer"

  1. 1. 6/28/2017 1 An Interrogator's Perspective on Netflix's "Making a Murderer" Laura Nirider, Assistant Professor of Law, Pritzker School of Law, Northwestern University and David Thompson, CFI, Director of Investigations, Research & Innovation, Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates An Interrogator's Perspective on Netflix's "Making a Murderer"
  2. 2. 6/28/2017 2 What You Will Gain From This Session • Insight into the legal process relative to confession admissibility & voluntariness • Understanding the common causes of contaminated and false confessions • Awareness of how these issues may impact your interviews and confessions Brendan’s Case – Trial court declined to suppress the confession – Convicted on the basis of his videotaped confess • Recantation was never shown to jury • No expert testimony on interrogation tactics – Wisconsin courts upheld the conviction – Federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus had been granted • Confession thrown out as coerced and involuntary • State was given 90 days to retry or release Brendan – 7th Circuit Decision released on 6/22/2017 2007 2016
  3. 3. 6/28/2017 3 Working Together
  4. 4. 6/28/2017 4 Amicus Brief • Wicklander-Zulawski & Assoc. • Juvenile Law Center • Professor Brandon Garrett Questioning Brendan Dassey Early afternoon of Feb. 27, 2006 at Mishicot High School (audio only) Late afternoon of Feb. 27, 2006 at Two Rivers Police Dept. (video) Late evening of Feb. 27, 2006 at local hotel (unrecorded) Midday on March 1, 2006 at Manitowoc Police Dept. (video) 1 2 3 4
  5. 5. 6/28/2017 5 Key Evidence • Victim was shot in the head • Battery removed from the Toyota RAV4 • Personal items in burn barrel “…death by a thousand cuts. Because of the cumulative effect of these coercive techniques – the leading, the fact-feeding, the false promises, the manipulation of Dassey’s desire to please, the physical, father assurances…no reasonable court could have any confidence this was a voluntary confession” -7th Circuit Appellate Decision
  6. 6. 6/28/2017 6 Key Takeaways • Goal of an Interview – Truth vs Confession • Risk Assessment of Interviewee – Age, Intellectual Capacity, Etc… • The “Ends” do not always justify the “Means” – Question the Process – Not the Outcome What is happening inside your interview rooms? Did you get the confession? vs How did you get there?
  7. 7. 6/28/2017 7 Want to hear more? @DThompsonWZ #AskWZ