The Constitution Project's 2013 Constitution Day program, False Confessions: When the Innocent Confess and the Guilty Go Free, will be webcast today, beginning at 12 noon (EDT) / 11 am (CDT) / 10 am (MDT) / 9 am (PDT).
The Constitution Project has details on the program. It's expected to last approximately two hours.
On September 17, 2013, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., The Constitution Project (TCP) will present its annual Constitutional Commentary Award to the award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns and his colleagues for their documentary, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE. Ken Burns will be present to accept the award and will participate in a Constitution Day panel discussion focusing on wrongful convictions, and more specifically false confessions.
THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE tells the story of five teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989, in part, based upon their false confessions. But unfortunately, their case is not an anomaly – false confessions are one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions in this country. The panel discussion will explore the phenomenon of innocent people confessing to crimes they did not commit and policies that can be adopted to help fix the problem. There are various factors that contribute to false confessions – the age and mental state of the suspect, police interrogation tactics – but research shows that practical steps can be taken to protect the innocent while improving policing capabilities and the justice system as a whole. The panel will explore the various best practices being adopted by law enforcement agencies across the country to help prevent the tragedy of wrongful convictions.
Earlier coverage of the Constitution Day program is at the link.