Why do innocent people confess to crimes they did not commit? On Feb. 19, Lava for Good Podcasts, the team behind the hugely popular podcast Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, debuts a powerful new audio series that explores – and answers – this question, which lies at the heart of hundreds of wrongful convictions.
Hosted by Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin, co-directors at Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions and central figures in the smash-hit Netflix docuseries Making a Murderer, the Wrongful Conviction: False Confessions podcast reveals 12 true stories of false confessions. Using real interrogation audio, Nirider and Drizin chronicle stories of everyday people who falsely confessed to crimes they did not commit – placing listeners as close to the nightmare of being wrongly accused as anyone would ever wish to be. And then, Nirider adds, “We bring you inside the fight to exonerate these innocent people.”
Each episode starts with a tragic crime – and the misguided investigation that followed. Nirider and Drizin recount stories ranging from a Brooklyn teen who falsely confessed to killing his own mother to an innocent New Zealander who was wrongly imprisoned for rape and murder while the actual rapist continued his serial crime spree. Listeners will hear interrogators use mind-bending techniques – death threats, lies about the evidence, and fact-feeding – to extract false confessions from innocents. In many cases, interrogators even ignored crystal-clear recantations, as when Virginia teen Robert Davis told police: “I am lying to you, full front to your face.”
In each case, investigators used confessions to obtain wrongful convictions despite compelling evidence of innocence, like DNA evidence that conclusively identified the real perpetrator. Nirider and Drizin bring listeners inside each person’s fight for freedom, spotlighting the sometimes unlikely heroes – from dissident police officers to victims’ family members – who helped right these wrongs against all odds. “You won’t be able to forget these captivating stories,” Drizin said, “and we hope you’ll join our shared fight for justice.”
The series comes from Lava for Good Podcasts, the team behind Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, which features the tragic stories of men and women who have spent decades in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. Jason Flom, the executive producer of the False Confessions podcast, is the founder of Lava Media, which includes Lava Music as well as Lava for Good Podcasts. As a longtime supporter and board member of numerous respected criminal justice reform organizations, Flom has spent over 25 years seeking justice for the wrongfully convicted.
Wrongful Conviction: False Confessions is available through the same feed and platforms where fans already listen and subscribe to the Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom series. Both series are now in a single feed named Wrongful Conviction Podcasts. Find Wrongful Conviction: False Confessions at www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com.
Wrongful Conviction: False Confessions, Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, and an upcoming slate of Wrongful Conviction Presents podcasts are produced by Lava for Good™ Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.