January 24, 2007
Journal News Article on Two Recanting Witnesses in DiGuglielmo Case
A 2,000 word article in yesterday's Journal News goes into great depth on new affidavits from what is now two eyewitnesses to the shooting. Both witnesses now say that police pressured them, in reinterviews, into changing their initial accounts of the shooting from self-defense to a version supporting the prosecution's theory of the crime.
Much is made in the article of the claim by both witnesses that they were tape recorded. Yet, the prosecution never turned over any tapes to the defense. If there were tapes that were never turned over, the defense believes the convictions should be thrown out because of at least a "reasonable possibility" the tapes could have influenced the jury's verdict.
Whether the interviews were recorded or not is a big question. What is not debatable is the value of tape-recording in the gathering of facts to arrive at the truth in criminal investigations. With DNA science having proven that one-fourth of wrongful convictions are the result of false confessions, it is telling that one of the recanting witnesses described his second, extended go-around with police not as an "interview" but as an "interrogation." If you've read any descriptions of false confessions, they look a lot like eyewitness Michael Dillon's description of his "reinterview":
"I was so worn out and exhausted by the past few days of police interrogation that I didn't read it carefully before signing it and I did not object or change wording and phrases in the statement that were not my words and did not accurately reflect my memory."
To read Richie's new 440 motion on the recanting witnesses and the alleged withholding by prosecutors of evidence in his case, click here.