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CASE ENTRY

Gilliam v. Sealey

Allegation: Following up on vague tip, police interrogate two teen brothers, each with severe mental disabilities, suspected of the rape and murder of 11-year-old Red Springs, N.C. girl. After hours of continuous questioning punctuated by threats, racial epithets, and empty promises, the brothers sign contradictory confessions written by the officers. They spend 31 years in prison until DNA evidence exonerates them and proves another man was the culprit. Can they sue the officers for coercing their confessions, suppressing evidence that pointed to the other man during the initial investigation? The Fourth Circuit says yes.


Tags: 2019, Due Process, Fourth Amendment, Fourth Circuit, Police, Qualified Immunity

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