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The Tankleff Case

April 3, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

In 1990 17-year-old Martin Tankleff was convicted of the brutal 1988 slayings of his parents in their Long Island home, and sentenced to 50 years to life. A newly published book says Tankleff’s unsigned “confession” was, in fact, extracted after long hours of questionable interrogation by a Suffolk County detective. Today, Tankleff is free after 17 years behind bars, his conviction vacated based on new evidence. “The real hero for his own rescue is Marty Tankfleff,” says psychology professor and false confession expert Saul Kassin of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “He wrote thousands and thousands of letters to people and got their assistance.” At John Jay’s Book and Author Series, Kassin, Tankleff lawyer Bruce A. Barket, and Richard Firstman and Jay Salpeter, authors of “A Criminal Injustice: A True Crime, a False Confession, and the Fight to Free Marty Tankleff,” discussed the case.
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