Deceptive interrogation tactics by a trio of NYPD detectives may have led to false confessions in as many as 31 homicide cases, which are now under review by the Bronx District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit, according to The New York Times. In 2019, Huwe Burton, who spent nearly 20 years in prison after being coerced by Detectives Stanley Schiffman, Sevelie Jones, and Frank Viggiano into falsely confessing that he stabbed his mother to death, was exonerated with help from the Innocence Project. The nonprofit found evidence that detectives used improper psychological tactics to railroad Burton into admitting to something he hadn’t done. Moreover, the lawyers found that prosecutors then withheld evidence that pointed to someone else altogether as the actual killer. This was one of the triggers that led to the reinvestigation of dozens of other, similar cases.
“Everybody got on board and thought it was a good idea to do this to a 16-year-old child after he had just lost his mom,” Burton told the Times. “They chose to say ‘No, this is what we’re doing—we’re just going to lock him up.’”