WXXI AM News

Coming up on Connections: Thursday, February 7

Feb 7, 2019

Credit https://sites.northwestern.edu/npep/jennifer-lackey/

First hour: Understanding the impact of false confessions on the U.S. justice system

Second hour: Fostering peace through the Irish Children's Program of Rochester

Why do confessions often supersede all other kinds of evidence in the U.S. justice system? And why are investigators so apt to believe confessions that are false? Jennifer Lackey is a philosopher and professor who directs the Prison Education Program at Northwestern University. She has studied how false confessions can lead to a miscarriage of justice. According to the Innocence Project, more than 350 people in the U.S. have been exonerated on the basis of DNA evidence in the last 30 years, and 28 percent of those exonerations involved false confessions. Lackey is in Rochester to give a public presentation on the subject at the University of Rochester, but first, she joins us on Connections. Our guests:

  • Jennifer Lackey, Wayne and Elizabeth Jones Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University, and director and founder of the Northwestern Prison Education Program
  • Joan Shelly Rubin, Dexter Perkins Professor of History, and Ani and Mark Gabrellian Director of the Humanities Center at the University of Rochester

Then in our second hour, the Irish Children's Program of Rochester has hosted Catholic and Protestant children from Belfast since 1982. The goal of each summer program is to foster peace through understanding, where children from different religious backgrounds have a chance to interact, build friendships, and understand each other as equal human beings. While the climate in Northern Ireland is no longer as violent as it was during the decades-long conflict known as "the Troubles," many neighborhoods around Belfast are still dominated by one religious group or another, and children are often taught to stay away from neighborhoods with which they don't identify. This hour, we sit down with members of the Rochester program to discuss how the lessons it teaches to children from Belfast can be applied in today's polarized American society. In studio:

  • Robert Tucker, president of the Irish Children's Program of Rochester
  • Jennifer DiGaetano, host parent for the Irish Children's Program of Rochester 
  • Anna DiGaetano, host sibling for the Irish Children's Program of Rochester
  • Clare Mercer, president of the Belfast Board for the Irish Children's Program of Rochester