SIXTH HOUR: The Wrongful Conviction of Brendan Dassey
The Innocent: The Intentional Conviction of Jason Baldwin

The Innocent: The Intentional Conviction of Jason Baldwin

July 26, 2021

“Taking the Alford Plea hurt my soul more than being found guilty in 1994 did," shares Jason Baldwin, a man who is so much more than a member of the West Memphis 3. “When they forced me to take the Alford Plea something in me broke…”

The presumption of innocence and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is seemingly reserved for a select few. For many flowing through the US system of [in]justice particularly children like 16-year-old Jason Baldwin and 16-year-old Brendan Dassey, the presumption of innocence is nothing more than a fallacy, a notion of intent not delivered. Contending with forces that conspire to convict, targeted by unmerciful prosecutors and defended by bad state actors - the truth of their innocence becomes a casualty of chaos.

Jason Baldwin joins me on the Sixth Hour to discuss his life pre and post-the-lived and survived experience of his wrongful conviction, Brendan Dassey, and his role as co-founder of innocence org Proclaim Justice.

 

 

 

 

Music reproduced with permission.

Song: Bad Man

Artist: Sarah and the Underground

Writer: Sarah Marie Dillard

 

“One of the first songs written after 'Making a Murderer' was released, 'Bad Man' by Sarah & The Underground is an unofficial anthem of the fight to free Brendan Dassey." - Steven Drizin, Legal Defense for Brendan Dassey

The Reformers: Inside the Interrogation Room

The Reformers: Inside the Interrogation Room

July 18, 2021

It’s lawful for police to use a variety of psychological techniques to induce suspects to confess including lying about evidence, accusatory questioning, and stomping their size tens up the nine steps of the REID technique because well, that’s what they’ve been taught. But times are a’changing.

In this episode of the Sixth Hour, my guests provide alternative, strategic interrogation practices grounded in science and rooted in humanity, what a revolution right?

Join me as we step into the interrogation room of Brendan Dassey and others with Dave Thompson, Partner and President of Wicklander Zulawski, a world-leading interrogation training organisation, Matt Jones a detective and Director at Evocavi Group which provides strategic investigative interview training that is grounded in decades of social science research. And retired homicide detective and author James Trainum who now reviews, consults, trains, and instructs on wrongful conviction cases, specialising in the field of false confessions. 

 

 

 

Music reproduced with permission.

Wicklander Zulawski: https://www.w-z.com/

Evocavi Group: https://www.evocavigroup.com/

James Trainum: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538120033/How-the-Police-Generate-False-Confessions-An-Inside-Look-at-the-Interrogation-Room

The Collective: Power to the People, Right on!

The Collective: Power to the People, Right on!

July 4, 2021

Did you walk past, or did you stop? Were you called to act – to advocate - to just do something, because doing nothing felt like a crime?

When Making a Murderer was unleashed on an unsuspecting seasonal audience in the December of 2015, it triggered a gut punch for millions of people and birthed a community of criminal justice activists that continues to thrive five-plus years on.

On this episode of the Sixth Hour, I’m joined by Stacey Seabrook, Paul Capaldi, and Mark Hoddinott to discuss the role of advocate and what that entails in the context of the wrongful conviction of Brendan Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery.

 

 

 

Music reproduced with permission. 

  • There's something going on.
  • As justice slowly disappears.
  • Artist: Stacey Seabrook
 
The Homicide Detective: A System of Adversaries

The Homicide Detective: A System of Adversaries

June 20, 2021

“I’ll be honest if somebody waives their Miranda rights, and we know how to get people to waive their Miranda rights – we know how to manipulate the hell out of them …” shares former homicide detective, author, reformer, and wrongful conviction expert James Trainum. “You could almost put pins under their fingernails and it’s [confession] still voluntary because of that paper that they sign,” he adds.

Joining the Sixth Hour, James Trainum author of How Police Generate Confessions: An Inside Look at the Interrogation Room, shares how his life as a homicide detective in Washington D.C. was transformed after eliciting a false confession from a suspect after a 16-hour interrogation - and informed and progressive insights on law enforcement, the Brendan Dassey case and modern interrogation practices in the United States.

The AEDPA: Dismantling the Great Writ

The AEDPA: Dismantling the Great Writ

May 23, 2021

When the federal judges that made up the en banc majority found that while there were factors that supported finding Brendan Dassey’s confession involuntary; that his confession was riddled with inconsistencies and that interrogators did offer up broad assurances that honesty would be rewarded with leniency, the slim majority determined that this was not enough to uphold what four other federal judges found to be a “profound miscarriage of justice.” For the majority climbing the insurmountable wall that AEDPA built took a judicial courage they lacked.

In this episode of the Sixth Hour, I’m joined by Professor Brandon Garrett, a distinguished Professor of Law and constitutional scholar prolific in the study of the innocent exonerated by DNA testing whose empirical research on the criminal justice system includes false confessions, forensics, eyewitness testimony and so much more. Join us for a masterclass in AEDPA.

The Conspirator: High Crimes and Misdemeanours

The Conspirator: High Crimes and Misdemeanours

April 5, 2021

“It was rumoured that there were people in the department of justice here saying, ‘leave it alone, don’t take it further,’ there are people who were offended but you know we got to have our win,” recalls Professor Michele LaVigne. As Brendan’s post-conviction appeal steamrolled its way through the federal courts the Wisconsin legal fraternity was as split as the en banc majority who had abandoned their call to conscience.

In this episode I am joined by Professor LaVigne Clinical Professor of Law Emeritus and co-author of the herculean analysis; Under the Hood: Brendan Dassey, Language Impairments, and Judicial Ignorance to discuss the indefensible misconduct of Len Kachinsky and how Miranda intersects with juveniles with speech and language impairments like Brendan Dassey.

To read the analysis: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3379727

The Amici: False Promises of Youth

The Amici: False Promises of Youth

March 21, 2021

“Because we could all watch it and we could see it and we could see that slow transformation from no to yes, it just seemed to typify in a way everything that is wrong with police interrogation of children in this country,” said Professor Marsha Levick.

As Brendan Dassey’s case hurled through the federal appellate court system, a chorus of eminent voices joined the fight for justice as a day of reckoning with the United States Supreme Court loomed. Battling false promises of special care and the immovable stain of judicial ignorance, a coalition of the country’s brightest minds including The Juvenile Law Center staged a learned intervention. In this episode, I discuss Brendan, the amicus journey, juvenile law decisions that have reshaped the landscape of juvenile justice in the US, and the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child with Professor Marsha Levick, Chief Legal Officer for the Juvenile Law Center.  

The Defender: Between Disparity and Despair

The Defender: Between Disparity and Despair

March 8, 2021

How culpable was the media in the wrongful conviction of Brendan Dassey? Did the infamous March 2nd press conference directed by DA Kratz prejudice, not just a potential jury pool but the entire state of Wisconsin? Destroying Brendan Dassey’s presumption of innocence with every word uttered Kratz tightened the shackles on young Brendan’s wrists and ankles as future fact finders and the local community recoiled in horror. With his freedom ebbing away Brendan grappled with his lack of comprehension and apathetic legal representation as he embarked on the fight for his life.

In this installment of the Sixth Hour, we join Dean Strang, 2007 trial counsel for Steven Avery in the courtrooms of Wisconsin for a masterclass in the humane.

The Suppression: Nine Steps to Self-Incrimination

The Suppression: Nine Steps to Self-Incrimination

February 21, 2021

The trial judge says, “so Miranda warnings are not an issue, so, mirandizing is not an issue, and neither is the custodial or non-custodial … okay moving on.” Now it’s in the record, he has sealed the fate. Brendan has had some amazing attorneys work on his case, but I don’t care how good they are that single interchange made their job almost insurmountable, says Dean Brian Gallini.

In the first episode of season two, Dean Brian Gallini of Willamette University College of Law, a leading scholar in criminal law and procedure takes us on a journey deep into the weeds of the errors at the heart of Brendan Dassey’s wrongful conviction. From Miranda to REID, to ineffective assistance of counsel and the irreversible failings of Kachinsky. Listen in as Dean Gallini brings Brendan Dassey into the classroom in his course Unmaking a Murderer where he profiles Brendan’s case to help inform the next generation of defense attorneys. 

Trailer: Season Two

Trailer: Season Two

February 14, 2021

This is the story of the wrongful conviction of Brendan Dassey. Confined to a system that provides little more than a modicum of due process for the children caught in the ebb and flow of flawed investigations, judicial ignorance, and spurious interrogation techniques, Brendan readies himself for his 15th year of wrongful incarceration as COVID-19 becomes another prong to the cruel and unusual punishment he continues to endure. Join me for season two where once again I step back in time to explore and revisit the influences at the heart of this profound miscarriage of justice.

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