A new perspective on why false charges occur, proceed and persist which looks at the roles of psychopathology, confirmation bias, false confessions, the media and internet among other causes. Puts lack of empathy at the fore in terms of police, prosecutors and others whilst considering a wide range of other psychopathological aspects of false convictions. Based on first-hand knowledge or involvement (David Anderson was Stefan Kiszko's endocrinologist and attended both his and the Knox/Sollecito trial). What drives false but serious criminal charges and why do police and prosecutors often persist against those wrongly in the dock? As this book shows-by looking at three high profile cases, those of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (Italy), Stefan Kiszko (UK) and Darlie Routier (USA)-motive forces are a mind-set in which psychopathy (what the authors charitably term 'constitutional negative empathy') may be present and in which confirmation bias (the need to reinforce a decision once made or lose face) plays a large part.Darlie Routier is still on death row in Texas despite overwhelming evidence that her conviction for killing her own child is false, whilst Knox, Sollecito and Kiszko have been vindicated by the highest and best of authority and compelling evidence.
The authors show how wholly unfounded rumours still persist in the Knox/Sollecito case due to hostile media and internet trolling. In the Routier case they advance a new theory that the killings (two in all) were in fact the work of a notorious serial killer.'In the light of all this, questionable trial procedures need to be overhauled, with much greater recognition of (their) imperfections and of the general imbalance in favour of the prosecution. Greater weight needs to be given...to establishing real, rather than merely judicial, truth' - (Chapter 11).
David Anderson is a former Professor of Medicine in Manchester and Hong Kong. He first awoke to miscarriages of justice in connection with a former patient of his, Stefan Kiszko, who in 1976 was wrongly convicted of the murder of Lesley Molseed. Nigel Scott is a writer and researcher who has written extensively (with David Anderson) on the Knox/Sollecito case in particular.
About the authors; Dedication; Publisher's note; Glossary of relevant terms; Dramatis Personae; Introduction; 1.The Law, The Human Brain and Psychopathy; 2.Murder in Perugia: An Improbable Conviction; 3.Italians in Court: One Man's View From No Man's Land; 4.The Psychopathology of the Press; 5.Internet Trolls; 6.The Murder in England of Lesley Molseed; 7.Injustice in Texas: The Case of Darlie Routier; 8.The Psychopathology of Victims and Victimisation; 9.Sex, Hormones, and Crimes of Physical Aggression; 10.Witch-hunts Through the Ages; 11.Witnesses, Evidence and Forensic Science; 12.Preventing Injustice: A New Psychopathological Approach; Select Bibliography; Index.