Perhaps the most powerful voice for change comes from the inside. Kudos to Chief Michael. D. Ranalli and thanks to the WrongfulConvictionBlog for bringing news like this to our attention!
Thanks to Michael D. Ranalli, Chief of Police, Glenville, New York, Police Department for his insightful and important article that appears this month in The Police Chief (magazine) about how system failures lead to tunnel vision and wrongful convictions. Ranalli compares an officer who elicits a false confession from a suspect to an officer who is lax on the job and as a result gets physically beaten by a suspect. Both occur, says Rinalli, as a result of cutting corners and a lack of focus and vigilence. Some highlights:
Officers consciously or unconsciously need to come up with a theory of the case that makes sense. Once that is done, there can be a tendency to have tunnel vision. Other leads or avenues that do not fit into this theory may be ignored or are viewed in the light of confirmatory bias. In other words, the facts that fit the theory…
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