Monday, February 19, 2018

Now in print: The Battle over the Burden of Proof

I previously posted a draft of my article that identifies and debunks twenty different prosecutor arguments about the burden of proof (and the related jury instruction) in criminal cases.  The article exposes prosecutorial wordplay and sophistry, and debunks such classic government arguments as "verdict means to say the truth" and "trials are about searching for the truth."  The final version of the article has now been published, and you can find it here: The Battle over the Burden of Proof: A Report from the Trenches, 79 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 61 (2017).   Stay tuned to The Legal Watchdog for soon-to-be-published articles on behavioral research and the law (with L. White), a test of other-acts evidence and curative instructions (with L. White), and prosecutor misconduct in closing arguments.  Or if you just can't wait to set your eyes on these works, you can find the pre-publication drafts, along with all of my previously-published articles, here.  Enjoy!    

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Anatomy of a False Confession: The Interrogation and Conviction of Brendan Dassey (Rowman & Littlefield, Nov. 2018)

Photo by Rebecca Slye
I am pleased to announce that I have just reached an agreement with Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., to publish my new book Anatomy of a False Confession: The Interrogation and Conviction of Brendan Dassey.  The book is dedicated exclusively to Dassey's case.  It takes the reader inside the interrogation room and exposes all of the tactics, ploys, and tricks used by Wiegert and Fassbender (and O'Neill, Baldwin, and even O'Kelly) to get Dassey to talk and eventually "confess" to party-to-the-crime of murder.  The book also explains how the prosecutors overcame serious flaws in the state's case to win a conviction, how in two short paragraphs the Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed the state's victory, and how the bizarre AEDPA standard in federal court has (thus far) served to preserve Dassey's conviction based solely on a coerced and obviously false confession.  The book is both educational and entertaining -- in a darkly ironic sort of way.  (But isn't that the best way?)  We expect publication this November.  Stay tuned to The Legal Watchdog for more updates and possibly a sneak peek of some of the book.