Your NPR news source

Devine on his 12 Years in Office

SHARE Devine on his 12 Years in Office

Outgoing Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine says he knows innocent people sometimes confess to crimes they didn’t commit. He says it’s one of the things he’s learned in his time as the county’s top prosecutor.

Devine says innocent people who confess to crimes may have personalities where they just want to please people so they simply repeat details they’ve heard from investigators. Devine says there are others who are just playing the odds.

DEVINE: Someone might think I’m going to go down for something. I’d better work out the best deal I can and I can do that by confessing to a limited role in this thing and testifying against others.

Devine says police and prosecutors always need to withhold crucial details to corroborate the truthfulness of confessions. It’s well documented that Chicago Police have tortured some suspects into giving false confessions though Devine didn’t address that. He made his comments today at the Chicago Bar Association in a speech on 12 things he’s learned during his 12 years as the State’s Attorney. It was a farewell speech of sorts for Devine, who leaves office at the end of November.

I’m Robert Wildeboer, Chicago Public Radio.

The Latest