February 27, 2013
Thomson Reuters cites Professor Steve Zeidman in an article on whether the confession of Pedro Hernandez is enough to support the charges against him in the Etan Patz case. According to New York state law, a confession alone is not sufficient enough for an indictment and additional proof must be presented that the offense charged has been committed. In the past, New York courts have found that requirement easily met. However, the Patz case could prove to be a bigger test of the law than any previous case. “You would think that given all we know about false confessions…courts would interpret these laws more strictly. This case could help make it happen,” said Zeidman.
Zeidman is a professor and director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at CUNY Law. He advocates on behalf of indigent defendants in many venues, including as a member of the Indigent Defense Organization Oversight Committee. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of Prisoners’ Legal Services and has also served on several statewide commissions, including the Commission on the Future of Indigent Defense Services and the Jury Project.