It is a unique sound. A cell door has no handle, either outside or inside. It cannot be shut except by being slammed. It is made of massive steel and concrete, about four inches thick, and every time it falls to there is a resounding crash just as though a shot has been fired. But this report dies away without an echo. Prison sounds are echoless and bleak.
Richard A. Leo On Why Innocent People Confess To Crimes
Once the police come to the conclusion that someone committed the crime, they are trained to interrogate. At that point their goal isn’t to gather information; it’s to build a case against the person they’ve already decided is guilty. They want to get a confession.
Eleven years ago I woke up to find the room spinning. In the soft blue-gray light of morning, the walls folded and slid and picked up speed. I pressed my body hard against the mattress, frantically searching for something to hold on to, but everything was moving with me.
No one in prison is ever coming back. Once we’ve served our time, everything is finally going to work out. We’re all going to stay in touch, so we can share our good news — except I’ve been giving out a fake phone number this entire time. I’m embarrassed to know these men, eyewitnesses to a shameful period of my life I can’t wait to live down: two years in prison for a nonviolent offense.
My father and brother constructed the trap in the basement workshop. I followed them to the forest behind the barn, where they would set it. We lived on a thirteen-acre farm called Merryview, where we raised horses — hunters, jumpers, and Shetland ponies — along with other animals.
Photographer Joseph Rodríguez grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and as a boy he watched the men in his family go in and out of prison. There were very few support programs for ex-felons at the time, and Rodríguez witnessed the difficulty his relatives had adjusting to life on the outside.