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readings & links: Terrance Deloach's confession and journalistic reports on  police, prosecutorial and judicial errors and misconduct

Terrance Deloach's Confession

The day after Terence Garner was sentenced to 32 to 43 years in prison for the Quality Finance Company robbery and shooting, Kendrick Henderson -- who participated in the robbery and was outraged that Garner had been convicted -- asked to see Wayne County detectives. He told them about Keith Riddick's cousin, Terrance Deloach, and said Deloach was the guilty one, not Garner. Wayne County detectives picked up Terrance Deloach, and after about two hours, Deloach admitted that he was the "Terence" who committed the robbery, along with his cousin Keith Riddick and Henderson. Deloach, who had a long and violent criminal record, described the weapon and other elements in the robbery and then signed this detailed confession, in which he also admitted he was the person who shot Alice Wise.

FRONTLINE's report what jennifer saw

Eyewitness testimony was central in the trial and conviction of Terence Garner. But this February 1997 report examines the many ways eyewitness identification can go wrong, helping to convict an innocent person.

Trial and Error: How Prosecutors Sacrifice Justice to Win

A five-part series (published Jan. 10-14, 1999), this Chicago Tribune investigation found that since 1963, 381 people convicted of homicide had their verdicts overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. (Sixty-seven of those 381 were sentenced to death.) In "Break Rules, Be Promoted," the authors describe a system whereby three Cook County, Ill., prosecutors who had received harsh rebukes from the Illinois Appellate Court for misconduct had been subsequently promoted and even elected judges. Other articles in the series trace some of the worst cases of prosecutorial misconduct on record.

NPR's Talk of the Nation -- Prosecutorial Misconduct

In this audio excerpt from a February 1999 segment of National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation," host Ray Suarez talks with Ken Armstrong, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune who co-authored that paper's five-part series on judicial misconduct, "Trial and Error: How Prosecutors Sacrifice Justice to Win." (To listen to the audio excerpt, you'll need RealAudio.)

Win at All Costs

In this 10-part series (Nov-Dec. 1998), a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette investigative team reports on alleged judicial misconduct and a "law enforcement culture that has allowed the pursuit of a conviction to replace the pursuit of justice, no matter what the cost."

The Wrong Man

In this in-depth November 1999 report in The Atlantic Monthly, author Alan Berlow describes several cases in which innocent men were sentenced to death, and then ultimately exonerated. Berlow argues that inept defense attorneys, dishonest police and prosecutors -- who may or may not believe they have the culprit, racial bias, false confessions, eyewitness error, and an appeals process that's becoming increasingly inaccessible, are the many factors to blame for miscarriages of justice.


In this August 2000 American Lawyer article, author Steve Weinberg chronicles the case of Ellen Reasonover, who was wrongly convicted of murder and served 16 years in prison. He describes how one dogged defense attorney became convinced that the prosecutor had allowed false testimony at Reasonover's trial and had misled the jury in his closing argument.

Innocence Project

A nonprofit legal clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, the Innocence Project's goal is to give pro-bono legal assistance to inmates who are challenging their convictions based on DNA testing of evidence. However, the website publishes information about all types of wrongful convictions in two sections of the site: "Causes and Remedies of Wrongful Convictions" and "Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct."

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