NY's top court rejects appeal of confession (Rejects Dr.Ofshe testimony of false confessions)

Written By: Reid
Apr 02, 2012
Associated press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's top court on Thursday upheld the child rape conviction of a Queens woman who said her confession was coerced by a lying detective and whose expert witness on false confessions was kept out of the trial.

The Court of Appeals' 5-2 ruling concluded the expert's proposed testimony that social science research shows false confessions have a correlation with certain police interrogation techniques "had nothing to say that was relevant to the circumstances of this case."

The trial judge said the jurors were competent to draw their own conclusions based on their life experiences about whether the statement was voluntary, and he did not see how Dr. Richard Ofshe's testimony about proven false confessions would help them.

Click here for the complete article on this decision

It should be noted, that while the court rejected the testimony in this case, is did state the following in their opinion:

"In this appeal, we are asked for the first time to consider the admissibility of expert testimony proffered on the issue of the reliability of a confession. While in a proper case expert testimony on the phenomenon of false confessions should be admitted, the expert here did not propose testimony relevant to this defendant or her interrogation. As a result, the trial judge did not abuse his discretion when he declined to hold a Frye hearing to assess whether any principles about which the expert proposed to testify were generally accepted in the scientific community, or to permit the expert to testify."
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