Friday, November 7, 2008

UIS hosts expert to discuss “The Psychology of False Confessions”

The University of Illinois at Springfield will be hosting Richard Leo, associate professor of Law at the University of San Francisco, for a presentation on “The Psychology of False Confessions” on Monday, November 10 at 7 p.m. in the Lincoln Residence Hall Great Room on the UIS campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Leo is an expert on false confessions and his research of police interrogation procedures has led to a movement toward the video-taping of custodial interrogations. During the event, Leo will address questions regarding why individuals would falsely confess to crimes they did not commit and discuss measures to avoid false confessions from being used in the justice system for wrongful convictions.

Prior to the event, there will be an author’s reception in the Public Affairs Center restaurant in the lower level of the PAC from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. The cost is $50, and funds raised during the reception will go to support the work of the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project. The book The Wrong Guys, which Leo co-authored, will be available for purchase, and Leo will hold a book signing after both the reception and the presentation.

The subject of Leo’s book The Wrong Guys - a group of four Norfolk, Virgina men wrongly convicted based on false confessions - is also the focus of a film called “Eight Men Out,” which the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project will be running on cable channel Access 4.

Leo’s appearance is sponsored by the UIS Speakers’ Award Committee. The lecture has been certified for 1.5 hours of credit in the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, a national organization that provides continuing legal education to lawyers.

The UIS Downstate Illinois Innocence Project is housed within the Institute for Legal and Policy Studies. Under the project, students in Legal Studies and other degree programs provide research and investigative assistance to attorneys who are helping individuals who have been arrested, tried, found guilty and imprisoned for crimes the Project believes they did not commit.

For more information, contact Rhonda Keech at 217/206-7989.