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February 08, 2006

Snapshot: Dr. Richard Ofshe

Ofshe

Internationally recognized expert on false confessions.  A social psychologist at Berkeley, since 1979 he has testified in over 225 cases in over 33 states, in Federal and State court. Has served as a consultant to major law enforcement agencies, including the Offices of the Attorney General for the States of California and Arizona, the Offices of the United States Attorney in Los Angeles and West Virginia, the Criminal Divisions of the United States Department of Justice, the Offices of the District Attorney of Los Angeles County, California and of Franklin County, Indiana, the Office of the State‚Äôs Attorney of Florida in Broward County and in Fort Myers and the Office of the Governor of Missouri. 

Testifying in the Tankleff evidentiary hearing,  Dr. Ofshe stated his firm belief that Marty's "confession" was false and coerced.  Dr. Ofshe explained that there are two necessary components of a confession.  First is the admission, but equally important is a narrative that matches the facts of the crime scene; ideally, a confessor should describe details of the crime that only the perpetrator would be in a position to know.  Because Marty's "confession" does not match the forensics, it is actually evidence of his innocence, said Dr. Ofshe. 

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