by Martin Stolz
A recent program on Chicago’s NPR affliliate featured a discussion of research by S.J. Quinney College of Law Professor Daniel Medwed.
The program on WBEZ delved into innocence claims by Illinois inmates, who say their pre-trial confessions were elicited through torture at the hands of Chicago police. Some of the claims date to the early 1980s. In many of the trials, convictions hinged upon the confessions, according to the program.
As background to these alleged beatings, suffocations and electric shocks, the program cited Medwed’s research, entitled “The Zeal Deal,” which explored the resistance of prosecutors in various places to post-conviction innocence claims made by criminal defendants. The article was published in 2004 in the Boston University Law Review.
“Prosecutors can reexamine these cases, can see innocence, and not pay a political price,” said John Conroy, a Chicago Public Radio contributor, speaking of Medwed’s findings.
Medwed received his J.D from Harvard Law School and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale University. He has taught at the College of Law since 2004, after teaching for four years at the Brooklyn Law School. He teaches Criminal Law, Evidence, Wrongful Convictions, and Civil Rights Law. In 2008, Medwed received an Early Career University Teaching Award from the University of Utah.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has been tasked with reviewing the inmates’ claims.