Response to Darrell Cannon’s Speech

Darrell was one of the best public speakers I have ever heard in my life.  Almost every part of his story was so extremely interesting from how he got to prison in the first place, to his life at Tamms, to his life now.  The one thing that really struck me was his attitude towards Burge and his “crew” that tortured him into confessing to a crime he really didn’t commit.  He said that he hates them every day of his life, and doesn’t expect his attitude to change ever.  I thought this was so interesting, since he seems like such a Christian man, one of moral character in principle, that he can’t seem to forgive these men for that they did to him.  Its understandable to me, they took away, what, 24 years of his life with his wife and children and family for something he never did.  If I were him and had some of the best years of my life taken from me, I’d couldn’t be angrier either.  What’s amazing about Darrell though, is that he doesn’t show how angry or mentally scarred he is from the whole experience.  He was so kind, and funny and happy and nice, if I ever met him on the street I would have never guessed he had been tortured and put in prison.  I really am awed at his Continue reading

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Coerced Confessions

Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to hear Darrell Cannon speak in class.  However, the topic of coerced confessions has been of great interest to me since taking a course that covered issues related to Psychology and Law.  Through my internship this semester I am working with a White Paper written about this topic.  The paper is currently a draft, but it does an excellent job of covering the topic and offers recommendations to reform the process of interrogation.  If you go to the first link, you can find the paper.  I hope you guys enjoy this and it teaches you more about this topic.  For those of you who haven’t been exposed to the Reid technique of police interrogation, I would love to hear how this strikes you after reading the section regarding it.  This technique drives me crazy!!

The second link I have included will direct you to a webpage that connects you with the story of the first person ever to be exonerated by DNA evidence in 1989 here in Illinois.  I found this story to be rather insane as the woman who accused Gary Dotson completely made up a story of rape incase she became pregnant after having consensual sex with her boyfriend at the time.  She thought it would be better to make up this story and apparently put a man behind bars than face her parents with the news of being pregnant.  Wow!

http://www.ap-ls.org/links/confessions.pdf

http://www.law.northwestern.edu/wrongfulconvictions/exonerations/ilDotsonSummary.html

Darrell Cannon-“You can be anything you wanna be”

The presentation of Darrell Cannon was astonishing. Sitting there and listening to him, it was almost unimaginable to most of us how a person can go through so much and still remain sane. But not only he persevered though days of unthinkable torture (cattle-rods, fake shotgun shots, humiliation) and nine years of solitude in Tamms, he is stronger now than he was before, as his rage and anger at what was done to him push  him forward.

One has to admire the  courage of all victims that are willing to relive the pain of their suffering, only so they can teach others and raise awareness about the realities they lived through. What struck me most about Mr. Cannon, was his manners (which he explained by the strong family ties and ethic that he was raised with). Having been in Tamms for 9 years for a crime he was tortured to confessed to, it is striking that he managed to raise above those that were trying tirelessly to bring him down and not for once utter an ugly jargon word at an officer.

His presentation made me wonder about a lot of things though… Continue reading