Revisiting Voluntariness: Seeking Clarity in the Era of False Confessions
The 2019 JCLC Symposium features scholars, experts, and practitioners from across the country who will discuss the changing legal landscape with regard to the voluntariness of confessions, an issue that recently took center stage in Dassey v. Dittman. The Symposium will consist of a full day of discussion, beginning with an address from our keynote speaker, former Solicitor General Seth Waxman.

Our four panels will tackle the following issues surrounding the voluntariness of confessions: 1) an overview of the jurisprudence and recent appellate cases; 2) the practical challenges surrounding voluntariness, with perspectives from defense counsel, judges, and law enforcement; 3) a philosophical and psychological review of false confessions; and 4) legislative and policy solutions.

The Symposium will be held in Lincoln Hall at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. The address is 375 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. Attendees may choose to attend the entire symposium or individual events. This symposium offers 5 general CLE credit hours.

Registration is recommended but not required to attend. The schedule is as follows:

9:00-9:30 | Guest Arrival. Coffee and light breakfast will be served.

9:30-9:45 | Keynote Speech

9:45-11:00 | Panel 1: Voluntariness Jurisprudence with Professor Laura Nirider, The Hon. Seth Waxman, Professor Eve Primus, Mr. Ben Gifford. Moderated by Professor Jason DeSanto.

11:00-11:15 | Break

11:15-12:30 | Panel 2: Practical Challenges with Professor Steve Drizin, Mr. John Sheldon, Mr. David Thompson, and Mr. Dean Strang. Moderated by Professor Deborah Tuerkheimer.

12:30-1:30 | Lunch

1:30-2:45 | Panel 3: "Testimonial Injustice" and the Psychology of False Confessions with Professor Jennifer Lackey, Mr. Christopher Ochoa, and Professor Richard Leo. Moderated by Professor Meredith Rountree.

2:45-3:00 | Break

3:00-4:15 | Panel 4: Legislative & Policy Solutions with Mr. Andrew Vail, Mr. Dennis Reboletti, and Mr. Scott Drury. Moderated by Professor Steven Drizin.

4:15 | Closing Comments

This symposium is sponsored by the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. The use of Northwestern University facilities for this event does not constitute an endorsement by the University. The views of those invited to speak on campus are the views of the speaker and not of Northwestern University. Northwestern University does not endorse or oppose any candidate or organization in connection with this or any other political campaign or election.

This symposium is supported by the Irving Gordon Symposia Fund, established in 1996 by the Gordon family, Northwestern alumni, and friends to honor the memory of Irving Gordon, a graduate of the class of 1947, and a beloved faculty member of the Law School from 1966 until his death in 1994. This symposium is also made possible by the generous support of Northwestern’s Center on Wrongful Convictions.

For questions, please contact Symposium Editors, Colleen Couture or Kelyn Smith:;

Email address *
This form was created inside of Report Abuse - Terms of Service