Victim of a coerced confession on videotape
March 15, 2002 | Page 4
Dear Socialist Worker,
Currently, I'm detained at Cook County Jail in Chicago. Your readers may know me as one of five inmates severely beaten by racist guards on July 29, 2000 (SW, September 1, 2000). I am also one of the first people in Illinois to fall victim to a videotaped statement that was actually coerced by prosecutors and detectives.
Ask yourself about the circumstances that I underwent for nearly five days before being forced to make that false statement.
I was arrested on July 31, 1999, with no probable cause. From then until August 5, 1999, I was tortured, beaten and threatened. I received no food, water, bathroom visits or phone calls. Daily, I was cuffed to a wall and given information about the crime they wanted me to confess to.
During trial, I testified about the circumstances I faced, and my attorney provided evidence that I was beaten, showing photos and pointing out my injuries that were caught on the videotaped confession. We also got prosecutors and police to admit that I was charged after the statement on August 5.
Even so, my trial judge gave major favors to the state, allowing every unjust measure they raised, including the false testimony of a detective. But the judge did not even allow full testimony from a witness on my behalf.
On Friday, January 4, 2002, video confessions were proven unreliable and insufficient when 25-year-old Corinthian Bell of Chicago was exonerated after being held 17 months in Cook County Jail, based on a coerced and false videotaped confession. In both of our cases, they didn't tape the entire interrogation process.
This proves that the Chicago Police Department and prosecutors rely on coercion, abuse and frame-ups.
Edward Mitchell, Chicago