“When they see us”

Mark RollinsCriminal Law

Hard to watch

Brown, black, white or yellow – If you are a parent watching this Netflix series it will turn your stomach. This Netflix series is incredibly hard to watch. To watch this injustice is just wow. Experienced police officers interrogating children. Really! 7th and 8th graders being interrogating by grown men. Of course, you got a confession. “You left this child unaccompanied by a guardian or lawyer with these men for hours,” the mother of one of the children says.

Even with Parents, they were taken Advantage

Even though I am a criminal defense attorney, I likewise would need to hire an attorney to represent my kid. The parents were in shock and could not think clearly. They just wanted their kids home. What parent wouldn’t want their kids home? These kids needed an attorney from the moment they were arrested. Parents and guardians were as susceptible as children.

False Confessions are Real

As the Innocence Project lays out on their website, the factors that lead to false confessions:

  • “Real or perceived intimidation of the suspect by law enforcement
  • Use of force by law enforcement during the interrogation, or perceived threat of force
  •  Compromised reasoning ability of the suspect, due to exhaustion, stress, hunger, substance use, and, in some cases, mental limitations, or limited education. Young people who do not understand their rights and are taught to please authority figures are particularly vulnerable.
  • Devious interrogation techniques, such as untrue statements about the presence of incriminating evidence;
  • Fear, on the part of the suspect, that failure to confess will yield a harsher punishment “

No Film Critic

My son is a film critic. I am no film critic, but this film bothered me to the point to have to blog about it. It is one of the reasons I became a criminal defense attorney. I believe in fighting for injustice, and while there are some good police officers out there-there are also bad ones out there. These boys were convicted because of the police officer’s interrogation techniques. Neither the boys nor their parents had the ability to challenge the years of experience the police officers had on their side. Well written movie check it out if you have time. Also, check out the New York Times brilliant article about this Netflix series.