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“Most of the inmates serving sentences in US prisons are innocent”: Mira Terada found out from an American prison expert the shocking statistics of convictions in the United States

Mira Terada, the head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice interviewed Paul Wright, a 55-year-old expert in the field of prison issues, executive director of the non-profit organization Human Rights Defense Center, which protects the rights of inmates serving prison sentences in state and federal prisons throughout the United States. Wright publishes a monthly periodical Prison Legal News with a monthly audience of more than 150 thousand people. The printed version of PLN can be found in almost every US prison.

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Paul Wright

Mira Terada: Hello, dear Mr. Wright! Thank you for joining us today. I would like to introduce you to our viewers. Paul Wright is one of the most well-known American human rights defenders who specializes in prison issues and issues of infringement of the rights of prisoners in the United States. Mr. Wright is an expert who has a thorough understanding of American prison system and who has worked in this area for decades. My first question will be about situation in American prisons. Why does the largerst democratic country in the world has the most violent and extensive system of prisons, pre-trial detention centers and temporary detention centers, where basic human rights are violated every day?

Paul Wright: Well, the United States has roughly five percent of the world’s population, but it has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. And I don’t think that it’s any coincidence or an aberration.

United States has used its prison system, especially over the last 40 years, as a tool of social control to maintain vast amounts of social inequality and vast amounts of injustice.

I mean, when you consider the fact that in the United States, over one out of every 70 adults is in prison or jail, then if you consider the fact that over eight million, eight to 10 million Americans are also on probation or parole, which is another form of correctional control by the state, that number increases rather dramatically to almost one out of 30.

And when you start thinking about percentages of the population, these numbers rival Nazi Germany and even Stalin’s Russia. They exceed the number of people who were under some form of state control in those time periods.

Yet in the United States, it’s still claims to be a democracy, even though it’s the number one jailer in the world in terms of both the number of prisoners and the percentage of its population.

And as far as the conditions that prisoners are held in throughout the United States, they tend to range from abysmal to barbaric, and the lack of medical care is horrific.

Thousands of prisoners die every year for lack of medical care to very simple and basic medical issues.

We’ve seen with COVID, for example, hundreds of prisoners, if not thousands, have died around the country. There’s also a lack of transparency in terms of both conditions and treatment of prisoners.

Covid has definitely ravaged the American prison and jail population, and it’s all happened with pretty much impunity. Thousands of prisoners have died. No one in the government was held accountable. And for the most part no one in the government is really concerned about the number of deaths, both from COVID and preceding that and during COVID from other illnesses, whether it’s everything from cancer to hepatitis, tuberculosis and other illnesses.

М.Т.: You know firsthand about the cruelty and inhumanity of the American prison system. You have been in an American prison for 17 years. I also have gone though it. In my opinion, American prison is a true hell. I have never been in a more terrible and horrible place. In your opinion, what can make prison staff and administration who are responsible for prison maintaining listen to us, human rights defenders, and to change their attitude towards prisoners?

P.W.: I think the biggest problem that we see at least in the United States is the American public so far is, I think, largely ignorant of the conditions. But the American public has not demanded change. But also, I think it’s worth putting into context that the American prison population and system has grown vastly in the past 40 years. It’s grown over 500 percent around the country in many localities at the city level.

For example, counties and cities are spending upwards of 70 percent of their total municipal budgets are being spent on jails, police and courts, which I mean, this is incredible when you compare this to the rest of the world. But I also think that a lot of this has to do with the overall attitude.

I’m not aware of any other country in the world where both government officials and the prison officials charged with running the prison systems are actually trying to make things worse.

I think that when you go to other countries in different parts of the world, for example, I think, if you go to countries in Latin America or even poorer parts of Asia, for example, prison conditions may be bad, but I think the prison officials will tell you “we’re a poor country, we have limited resources. We’re doing the best with what we have.” The United States, by contrast, is a very rich country.
We have a lot of resources.

By conservative estimates, which I think these numbers are very undercounted, the United States is spending upwards of $100 billion a year to lock up its 2,5 million prisoners on any given day

And again, I think for various reasons, I think that number is a very big underestimate. So you think what does the United States get for $100 billion by any objective amount? This is a huge sum of money.

See that the United States had actually tries to make things much worse for their prisoners. And I use one example for this is that American prisons over 100 years ago used what we call chain gangs, where prisoners were literally chained to each other to perform manual labor. And in a lot of cases they built roads, they were doing railroad construction and things like that in parts of the United States in the early 1900s.

This was resurrected in the 1990s by politicians who are trying to quote be tough on crime, and there are a lot of problems. There’s reasons that these chain gangs were discontinued. There’s very high potential for violence or very high potential for escapes. But informs the political posturing they were widely adopted in many parts of the country again in the 1990s. One very tragic example is Arizona, where they decided to put prisoners on death row on a chain onto a chain gang to farm vegetables, and they made a big deal of the fact that they were paying the prisoners 10 cents an hour to do this.

And but that ignores the fact that they’re paying the guards much more than that. So these become very expensive vegetables. But most I think security experts would say that it’s probably not a good idea to bring prisoners sentenced to death outside the prison and put them to work, no matter how barbaric the conditions were. And tragically, this experiment ended only after a prisoner with an outside accomplice tried to escape and two people were killed, and that was the end of the Arizona chain gang experiment.

But this went on in other parts of the country for years until basically high levels of violence escaped prisoners killing each other and trying to escape kind of ended it. But again, in other parts of the world, you have politicians, for example, vying with each other to see who can be the most publicly cruel to the prison population. And I think that’s one of the things that really sets the United States apart, that you don’t have politicians actively acting in very publicly seeking to brutalize their prison population and the United States seems to be very unique in that regard.

М.Т.: So what can we do to change it? And how can our voice be heard?

P.W.: Well, I think they’re part of the thing is one of the reasons I started prison legal news was I have the belief that and I do and I still do now, 32 years later.

If people were aware of what was happening inside of American prisons and jails, they would demand change.

And I think this comes down to the thing is that most people, regardless, for example, of whatever their views are on criminal justice or punishment or whatever they don’t believe, I think, in barbaric cruelty to other people. The Human Rights Defense Center, which I had, we recently represented the estate of a mentally ill black man who was starved to death in a Florida prison.

He was seriously mentally ill and struggled with mental illness his whole life. He was in prison for a minor burglary charge. His mental illness worsened and he was acting out and at some point, guards stopped feeding him. He went into prison. He was five foot 10 inches tall. He weighed approximately 180 pounds. By the time he died, he weighed one hundred and twelve pounds and his cause of death was starvation.

And this is one of those things where I think that regardless of what people think about prison conditions or crime and punishment, most Americans do not believe that people should be starved as part of their prison sentence.

And unfortunately, this is very common.

There’s another prisoner here in Florida, a man named Darren Rainey. Again, he was mentally ill. He was African-American, and he was literally burned to death in a shower by prison guards. They put him in a shower. The temperatures over 100 degrees. They locked him in the shower, turned the water on and left him there for two hours until literally the skin. He burned to death and got to the point where his skin was peeling off his body. And no one was charged in that case.

In our case, Mr. Gaines, our client who was starved to death. No one was criminally charged in that case. And that’s one of the things these levels of impunity is one of the things. It’s very it’s almost akin to Latin America, for example. And but the thing is, you know, we have very the media in some respects is does a fairly good job in the United States and reporting on many of these abuses.

But that’s one of the things the total impunity for the people who commit these abuses is also one of the things that sets the United States apart and most other parts of the world. When prison or jail officials are openly implicated in the murders of prisoners in state captivity or state custody, there are consequences. At a minimum, they lose their jobs. But here in the United States, they do not. And it also is one of the things that the higher ranking the officials responsible, the less likely they are to be held to any form of accountability.

And I also think this is one of the things, too, that the United States is a signatory to the Convention against Torture. And one of the provisions of the Convention against Torture is that the country’s judicial system has to be able to adjudicate claims of torture and also hold those responsible for it accountable.

Yet the United States does not do that, and I think that to an extent, the international community, I think, has been remiss in not seeking to hold the United States accountable to international treaties it has signed.

And one of the things that I find especially sickening, to be honest, is the fact that the United States seeks to seeks to defend claims it seeks to defend human rights and criticizes other countries for human rights abuses or problems in their countries when whatever abuse is being complained about anywhere else in the world.

I can point to at least 10 examples where it’s happening right here in the United States and usually happening right now. It’s not even the distant past where it’s like, oh, that was a long time ago. That was times of change times are different yet.

The biggest thing remains the lack of accountability and the impunity for human rights abusers in the United States.

Is it’s a place where, you know, as President Truman was the American president after World War Two, and he was famous for saying that the buck stopped with him, that ultimately he was responsible for what happened in the United States.

That mentality is long gone, and we have a system now where no one’s accountable, no one’s responsible. Yet thousands of prisoners every year die in state custody. Many are beaten to death. They’re tortured, they’re brutalized, and it’s openly it’s open knowledge. It’s not even in dispute.

Like Darren Rainey, he was burned to death. And it’s widely known. It’s been widely reported. Yet no one has ever was ever charged in his death. And Mr. Gaines case, he was starved to death, and again, no one was held accountable and his starvation death.

М.Т.: You have a wide experience of work on prison issues and, you know, a lot about American prisoners. It seems like you you compared attitude towards prisoners in the United States and in other countries. Are conditions in prisons of European countries like France, Germany, UK and Scandinavian countries better than in the United States, on your opinion?

P.W.: In the Scandinavian and in Holland, for example, one of the other things I think is also critical to note that one of the things that that separates the United States from the rest of the world is the length of its sentences. Most other countries around the world have some type of limit on the sentence that prisoners can serve. And a lot of countries will be 15 years, there’ll be 20 years, for example.

So there’s limits in the United States. We have well over two hundred thousand prisoners that are serving sentences of life without parole or virtual sentences of life without parole, or once prisoners have been sentenced. They will, as things stand, they’re destined to never leave prison alive. And that’s one of the things that sets prisoners prisons apart in the United States is a sentencing practices.

And this is the theme of the death penalty. I’m not even talking about that. This this is just a regular sentencing practices. But yes, as far as the prison conditions go, you know, they’re extremely barbaric. And, you know, certainly compared with the rest of with Western Europe, for example, you know, many prisons are antiquated.

Some of the things that we report on in in prison legal news or prison conditions, including everything from exposure to the elements to extremely high levels of violence to exposure to rodents and vermin.

And a lot of these are just the physical issues. The lack of medical care is a constant. The lack of mental health treatment for mentally ill prisoners and the mentally ill constitute a very large percentage of American prisoners and by mentally ill, I mean seriously mentally ill. I don’t mean prisoners with minor conditions that, hey, they’re quirky or they’re centric, but you know what’s considered, you know, serious forms of mental illness of bipolar disorder, paranoia, schizophrenia, illnesses like that.

М.Т.: There are a lot of publications in press about cruelty and inhumanity in prisons of South USA, for example, of Alabama. But we do not know much about problems in prisons of American East, Washington, Oregon, California. Is American prison system the same in all parts of the country? Are there any differences in prison conditions of different states? Is there a great difference if this difference exists?

P.W.: Yes, there’s great differences. Prison legal news we’ve been reporting on prison conditions for over thirty two years now, and the conditions are are very different. For example, a lot of the prisons of the former Confederacy, the southern states of the United States. For example, I talk about deliberate cruelty.

Prisons in the southern United States, for example, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, they’ve literally made the policy and the political decision not to air condition the prisons. And every year, dozens of prisoners die from heat exposure and health conditions related to heat.

And again, these are policy decisions that they have made to not provide prisoners with air conditioning. The more interesting thing is the fact that the guards also work in these conditions and they’re willing to work in an air conditioned prisons.

I live in Florida, where in the summertime on average, it’s at least 100 degrees every day. And at least if you’re close to the ocean, there’s a breeze. Once you get inland, there is no breeze. It’s just hot and it’s very high humidity. And the state of Florida alone has almost 90000 prisoners being held in those conditions and the same throughout the South, for example. So the prison conditions, I think, are very different.

Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi again, these states have opted to cage large numbers of their population, and they’ve opted to do so as cheaply as possible. So primarily, they use open dormitory prisons. They do not use cells. They do not use prisons with cells, for example. And most prison experts or or biologists or criminologists will tell you that open dormitory prisons are among the most dangerous design that you can have because literally prisoners can attack each other rather easily.

They’re not locked down. They’re not prevented from physically accessing each other. And these prisons are cheap to build. They’re cheap to operate, but very dangerous. And those are very common throughout the southern United States. I also think that some of the other differences too range from both, you know, the conditions of the prisons. Also, some of the prisons in other parts of the United States have higher staffing levels. Understaffing is a huge issue.

И And one of the things to keep in mind is the United States. The legacy of slavery lives long and strong in the southern United States. And when you think that as recently as the nineteen eighties many prisons in the United States, they didn’t use outside, they didn’t use civilians employed by a prison system.

Prisons took prisoners and armed them and made them the guards responsible for everything from perimeter security to internal order and security within the prisons, very much like the kapos in German concentration camps during World War Two.

And it was only through litigation and federal court orders that this practice ended. But to put this in perspective, as recently as the late nineteen seventies, the Arkansas prison system had 3000 prisoners in it and twenty seven employees, and they were able to do this. Yeah, it’s amazing. And again, this is within living memory.

М.Т.: How is it even possible to manage? But such little amount of staff, so many prisoners?.

P.W.: They gave guns to the prisoners with very predictable results, and they they basically used the prisoners to enforce discipline and order and security with again, you know, very predictable results. Texas was the same thing, and Texas was doing this up until the mid-nineteen eighties. And again, and I think it’s also one of the things that’s interesting to note is that a lot of countries actually have laws against torture and physical abuse.

The United States has no domestic laws prohibiting torture, for example, or physical abuse by government officials.

To the extent that the practices have overtly ended, it’s been through litigation, federal court orders and putting this into perspective in the United States, prisoners were being flogged with whips and in prisons as recently as like 1974. And that ended only because a federal court, there was never a law passing it, it wasn’t prison officials or government officials saying “this is wrong, this is immoral, we shouldn’t be doing it”.

It was only because of that. And it’s interesting because around the time that the United States stopped using physical torture and physical abuse routinely and openly is when it’s switched to solitary confinement and world experts. The world over pretty much condemn solitary confinement as a form of torture, as a form of mental abuse.

And yet the United States on any given day easily has at least over one hundred thousand prisoners being held in some form of long term solitary confinement. And again, this is one of those things when you look at the fact that the United States is starting in the 90s, literally built dozens of so-called supermax prisons, and these were prisons designed to physically isolate prisoners at every level. For example, the cells were built without windows.

And some of the states like Florida and Texas, they were built without air conditioning. They’re designed for the prisoners, have no type of human contact with each other. They were built without recreation facilities. Are built without mess halls or dining halls. And literally, they were built for the purpose of caging vast numbers of people in tiny little cells with the goal of driving them insane.

And again, the solitary confinement almost a unique, an almost a unique form of American torture because it started at the beginning of the eighteen hundreds and. And it’s interesting because early American visitors or visitors to America at the time, like Charles Dickens from England, Alexis de Tocqueville from France, toured these American, these early American prisons in the 1820s and the 1830s and 1840s.

And they all commented about the fact that confining people in these solitary confinement cells for long periods of time tended to drive many of them insane. It made people crazy. So the United States has done this for over two hundred years, and not only does the Untied States keep doing it, it’s actually literally expanded the practice.

And that’s again, one of the other things that makes American prisons very unique for the rest of the world is this is a practice that’s widely condemned globally as a form of torture, as a human rights abuse in the United States. And these are these prisons are also very expensive to build, and they’re very expensive to run.

Yet the United States is confining well over one hundred thousand prisoners around the country in long term solitary confinement and which is something that no other country around anywhere in the world does, certainly not on this scale.

М.Т.: Over the years of your human rights work, you have come across many cases of flagrant violations of basic human rights by jailers and prison administrations. What are in your opinion the most frequent and most monstrous violations committed in American prisons?

P.W.: The daily violation, the claims the most lives is lack of adequate medical care. We’re seeing this with COVID. It’s been, you know, COVID has certainly exacerbated an already bad problem.

М.Т.: Do you think it’s one of the one of the types of torture as well?

P.W.: I think in certain cases, it may be a form of torture directed individual prisoners, but for the most part, I think it literally is indifference. They do not care if the prisoners in their captivity live or die.

All 50 states around the country, state or federal or local American prisons or jails are not a place you want to get sick in. And the big thing that as someone who’s been reporting on this for over 30 years now, what I also find striking is the common illnesses that prisoners die of and. And I also want to say to it, and I don’t say this is a joke.

It’s, you know, I see so many prisoners that die literally on holiday weekends when I mean, whenever you know, prisoners get the

Worst thing can happen to an American prisoner is get sick on a weekend or on a holiday because whatever minimal medical care there is, usually it is not happening on a holidays and weekends.

And if you can make it to. And you know, literally we’ve seen this, this happens on a regular basis. But the common things that American prisoners died from, they die from hypertension, they die from diabetes.

I mean, these are these are illnesses that have very common forms of treatment. American prisoners are dying in vast numbers from exotic or rare diseases. They’re dying from simple things that are outside the prison context are quickly and easily treatable. That’s the most obvious one, and I think that’s what claims the vast majority of American prisoners.

Suicide is also a huge problem in American jails. And I think that a lot of people who I think are not that familiar with prison or jail type issues think, well, if people are going to kill themselves, the government can’t do anything about it. But actually, that’s not true. We know from decades of research that basically suicides are a symptom of a system that does not provide adequate mental health care treatment.

People kill themselves or harm themselves when they’re undergoing a crisis and usually with proper mental health intervention people get through the crisis. They don’t harm themselves.

Suicides have been steadily on the rise for the last 30 years, even as more and more research shows the ways to counteract that.

And I would say that well-run prison systems don’t have any suicides at all.

Poorly run ones tend to have a lot, and those numbers have been going up. And then I think the other two level, the other two issues are prisoner on prisoner violence and staff on prisoner violence and usually the prisoner on prisoner of violence is usually can usually be traced to things like understaffing, poor prison design.

And also, I think that one of the things is just an overall sense of hopelessness and despair that permeates American prisons. You have so many prisons with huge percentages of the prison population that will never be released. They know they’re going to die in prison, either from old age, illness or violence that it creates.

I think, you know, very bad and violent systems, and I think this kind of feeds into a cycle where that prison officials and prison employees in particular feel that the only way to maintain order or security or whatever is increasingly resorting to physical violence and force to do so, which kind of gets into this whole vicious cycle of very high levels of violence at all levels, which in turn increases the levels of despair, which in turn increases suicide levels. And, of course, death rates and death levels.

М.Т.: How effective are your efforts and the efforts of your colleagues in changing for the better prison conditions in the United States? Have you succeeded to change prison conditions in any state or prison? Did you managed to save life of prisoners or to make their conditions better?

P.W.: I can say, as a human rights activist in the United States for the last 30 plus years that I would say my career has been one long fighting retreat, I’m not sure that we’ve made anything better.

When I started prison legal news and the Human Rights Defense Center in 1990, the United States had one million people locked up in prisons and jails. By the end of the decade in 2000, we had two million by every measurable condition, whether it’s the number of people locked in cages, the number of people under state control through probation or parole conditions of confinement. By any measure, amount of hesitation contact with the outside world. Financial exploitation by the state and corporations. Everything has gotten worse in the last 30 years.

About the only thing I can think of in the big picture that’s gotten a little bit better has been physical access in prisons and to services for disabled prisoners. But across the board, you know, everything is generally gotten much worse. Prior to the nineteen nineties, prisoners in many states were able to get college educations.

Today, very few can, if at all. I mean, it’s only in a few states, and that’s largely through privately funded initiatives. So and again, the levels of impunity and lack of accountability have continue to be bad. The lack of transparency is, if anything has gotten worse. Prior to the nineteen nineties, media and reporters were allowed to visit prisons and interview prisoners. Many states have outlawed the practice.

The federal government has routinely banned media interviews of prisoners for at least the last 15 years.

But I’d say that yes you know we have made our efforts we have filed lawsuits we for some period of time the Federal judiciary has literally been the only bastion, the only place where basically anyone in the American government has been willing to stand up for the legal rights of a human rights of American prisoners but they’ve got more conservative and more pliant to the American police state in the last 20 years or so than they used to be.

Congress has also limited the ability of federal judges to correct unconstitutional and inhumane conditions of confinement. They pass the law in 1996 called the Prison Litigation Reform Act designed to make it more difficult for judges improve prison and jail conditions.

I’d say that the course of the last several decades then yes we have you know we have us if we win the occasional battle we are able to make small improvements but overall I think from a macro picture perspective and an objective large level the human rights situation in the United States in last 30 years has gone from bad to disastrous.

М.Т.: According to your expert opinion, how large is the percentage of prisoners in the United States who have been imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, or whose trials were accompanied by significant violations? Can we say that innocent people make up a significant proportion of inmates in American prisons?

P.W.: Yes, you can. And I think, for example, the defense of the right now we’re representing a man who spent 37 years in Florida prisons for a rape murder he did not commit.

There’s been literally thousands of exonerations of prisoners who have been freed of usually after years or decades in prison for crimes they did not commit.

In some respects it’s a very small slice of the total American prison population. I think in this way American prisons have over 2 million people and the United States convicts over a million people for felonies which are serious crimes every year. And I think everyone with the most naive you need to have a lot of faith in the government and the police to think that all 1 million people a year are actually guilty of what they were convicted of.

And I think that the exonerations, that one of the things that’s really kind of speed of the exonerations aligns with the Advent of DNA testing, and we have in so many cases of the early innocence cases were shown to be virtually all men that had been convicted of generally violent crimes, especially sexual assault and murders that they were factually innocent of. And I think, you know that number increases literally every day. But we also see more and more cases too where people were have been exonerated again for crimes they didn’t commit, but for the most part, these crimes are being almost exclusively focused on violent crimes, such as murder sexual assault, which have long prison sentences.

These are the ones who are in prison long enough to use the very lengthy and slow appellate process.

In the United States the average time that prisoners stand in prison before, you know, before they are, exonerated is like 13 or 15 years.

For many cases it’s longer, much longer. Prisoners spend literally decades battling to prove their innocence before they’re finally released. Which means that for literally, I think thousands of prisoners every year that are wrongfully convicted of serious crimes that are serious enough to land them in prison, but minor enough to they don’t spend huge amounts of time in prison and not long enough to vindicate their innocence through the court system. I think that number is very huge.

One of the things that the United States is kind of perfected is the art of literally incarcerating, huge numbers of people and I’ll also give you one of the one example, I think also perpetuates this is the penalties in the United States are so severe and so harsh that many people plead guilty to offenses they did not commit. And one example of this was called the Rampart Scandal. This was around 15 or 20 years ago, in Los Angeles. It came to light when a corrupt cop was caught stealing cocaine from the police evidence locker and to basically curry favor for himself and not go to prison for his crimes he blew the whistle on the systematic police abuse recurring in this part of Los Angeles, where police officers were routinely arresting gang members real or suspected falsely accused him of crimes. And when all was said and done it turned out that 110 or so, people had been falsely charged with gun and drug crimes they did not commit. And every single one of them pleaded guilty to crimes they did not commit because the option was you can go to prison for 5 years or 10 years for a crime you didn’t commit and get out, or you can go to trial and get convicted of a crime, you didn’t commit and spend the rest of your life in prison. And given that choice every single one of them pleaded guilty to crimes they did not commit.

this is just one microcosm of the only reason this came to light was because one corrupt cop got caught stealing cocaine from the police evidence locker and decided to blow the whistle to get himself a more lenient sentence. If he hadn’t been arrested, if he kept his mouth shut all hundred and ten of those criminal defendants would have served out their five to ten year sentences for the crimes they didn’t commit. And just remember, this is just one neighborhood in one large city in America. How often it plays itself out throughout the United States?

And one of the things that we see a lot of too is especially mentally ill people are easily induced to confess to crimes they didn’t commit.

One of the things that is often is somewhat unique about the United States, is the degree to which police are skilled in getting people to confess to crimes they didn’t commit.

In Chicago. There was a notorious policeman Jon Burge who literally for decades tortured dozens if not hundreds of mostly poor black and Latino men into the confessing to crimes usually murders they did not commit. And he used, you know, barbaric tactics reminiscent of Nazi Germany. He was tying men to hot radiators, for example, to get them to confess. He was using electroshock devices and things like that. And that’s one extreme of a brutal policeman and all the detectives that work for them, torturing people in the confessing to crimes, they didn’t commit. But for more common are the police that trick people into confessing to crimes, they didn’t commit. And again, that seems to be somewhat unique that seems to be unique attribute in the United States.

I read widely on police and prison and jail practices around the world, and I don’t see any other country in the world, where police had such large numbers of false confessions for crimes people didn’t commit not using torture. So, I don’t know if that means an American police are smarter than their counterparts or American defendants are not as smart.