Members of #TheExonerated5 are utilizing their platforms as well as their life altering experience to help inflict a much need change within the criminal justice system.
The #DailyNews reports ; the formerly accused teens of the historical Central Park jogger rape case; Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise and Yusef Salaam are working towards making sure other innocent people won’t fall victim to similar circumstances forced upon them.
Sources have confirmed that the gentlemen have teamed up with the Innocence Project amongst other social justice advocates to dismantle the notions of dishonest and inhumane interrogation tactics. They want to establish effective counseling for young people who serve as victims of forceful interrogation and falsified confessions. They also want to ensure these victims receive adequate compensation for wrongful convictions.
“Nearly 30 years ago, we were imprisoned for a brutal crime we did not commit, and collectively spent decades behind bars for it,”states Salaam and Richardson within a statement to the Daily News. “At the heart of the circumstances that conspired to strip us of our freedom and forever change the trajectory of our lives were false confessions.”
Sen. Zellnor Myrie has also forwarded a proposal to disallow police officials from using deception as an interrogation tactic. The proposal will enforce law officials to thoroughly investigate a confession before identifying it as substantial evidence in court. Solely because there are currently no laws that prohibit officials from lying to suspects or any other forceful tactics during interrogation to receive a confession.
It has been stated that in 2014 New York Court of Appeals issued a ruling that allows police to mislead suspects as long as their actions aren’t deemed as “patently coercive.”
The Daily News reports: The package of proposals, also being pushed by the Legal Aid Society and the New York Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, includes a bill penned by Sen. Jamaal Bailey and Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner, both Democrats from the Bronx, that would require children under 18 consult with an attorney before they can be interrogated by cops. Another bill would bar local municipalities or police departments from maintaining their own permanent DNA databases. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) would ensure that the only permanent DNA identification index authorized in New York is the index maintained by Albany that only includes people who are convicted of crimes.
“In the coming months, we will be asking the state legislature and the governor to enact these common sense reforms before the end of the coming legislative session,” states Salaam and Richardson.