Preloading
O
Print
Coerced Confession
Marty Tankleff and his parents
Could you be convinced to confess to a crime you didn't commit? It may seem inconceivable, but research shows that in approximately 25 percent of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made statements falsely incriminating themselves.

On September 7, 1988, 17-year-old Marty Tankleff called 911 to report that both his parents had been stabbed. Police arrived at his Long Island, New York, home within minutes. They found Marty's father unconscious on the floor of his office, bleeding from a stab wound to the neck. His mother was found dead in her bedroom, nearly decapitated.

"It was supposed to be my first day of school. ... I had just turned 17 on August 29, and it should have been a great year," Marty says. "Instead, it changed my life forever." 

Marty told police he thought his father's business partner might be responsible for the murders, and he agreed to go to the police station to answer their questions. "All they kept asking me was about my father's business partner ... [and] any problems my parents had with people," Marty says. "My background, my family—that's what I thought I was there for." As it turned out, local law enforcement officers had something else in mind.