People v. Thomas (2014)
A jury has acquitted a New York father of the murder of his infant son.
In 2009, Adrian Thomas was convicted of second-degree murder after prosecutors alleged he violently threw his toddler son down on a bed. Thomas had confessed, but the New York Court of Appeals reversed his conviction when it concluded that his confession was the result of “highly coercive” police interrogation techniques.
In a MSNBC report, associate producer Sara Felsenstein highlights the details of the 10-hour interrogation that led to Thomas’s confession. She states, “For most of the interrogation, Thomas maintains he did not harm the child.” Felsenstein then explains that the police coerced Thomas by insisting that someone must have treated the child violently, if not Thomas, then his wife. The article also highlights that the police told Thomas that “explaining how he’d caused [his son’s] head injuries could save the child’s life—even though [the police] knew [the child] was already brain-dead.”
Felsenstein concludes by noting that false confessions are a widespread problem in the justice system.