Just this month, a judge granted a new trial for a man convicted of murder and rape in Kalkaska, Michigan. Jamie Peterson, convicted of the first-degree murder and rape of an elderly Kalkaska resident, Geraldine Montgomery, in 1998, was facing a life sentence without parole. The crazy thing is Mr. Peterson confessed to all of it.
Peterson's defense attorneys requested a new trial based on advanced DNA technology and that Peterson gave a false confession to the murder and rape to the authorities. The new DNA technology showed that it was not Peterson's DNA found on the victim, but another man's. Last year, the other man was arrested based on the new evidence.
Prosecution in the case believes that the DNA evidence did not play a crucial role in his conviction, his confession to police, however, was a large part of his conviction. Peterson's attorneys believe that he is "mentally deficient." Judge Janet Allen wrote in her opinion, granting a new trial for Peterson, that "[f]alse confessions, especially by those who are cognitively impaired, are very real."
When innocent people confess to a crime, for reasons such as duress, coercion, or mental impairment, the confession is false. These types of confessions happen frequently. It is imperative when dealing with a false confession case that an attorney who has experience in dealing with false confession is retained to defend the accused. These cases can become complicated and require special skill. The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith has the experience and skill needed to handle cases that involve false confessions. We have had success in dealing with cases of false confessions. Contact our office to set up a consultation if you believe you have given a false confession to a crime.