Much lying stems from misconduct by police and prosecutors desperate to solve crimes, researchers say.“Witnesses are pressured, threatened, subjected to violence, offered secret deals such as reduced charges in the case at hand or for other crimes, or otherwise coerced or persuaded to falsely accuse the defendant,” a 2013 registry report concluded.Almost as a rule, experts say, courts don’t like to reopen old cases without compelling scientific evidence.That is especially problematic in prosecutions built on the testimony of witnesses. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office declined to discuss Hollman’s case.His current appeals lawyer, Alan Tauber, said he plans to ask prosecutors for a new review.Jennifer Creed Selber, former chief of the office’s homicide unit, acknowledged witness recantations are a “pervasive” problem.
Jones said detectives coerced her into implicating Hollman.
Five years ago, the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University's law school started a database of criminal exonerations since 1989.
The National Registry of Exonerations has catalogued over 2,000 cases.
In the end, Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn N.
Bright followed a long line of judges who reject witness recantations as unreliable.