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FALSE CONFESSIONS

In Pr. George's Homicides, No Rest for the Suspects

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By April Witt
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 4, 2001

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Joanne Beale wasn't worried when she delivered her 17-year-old son to a detective at Prince George's County police headquarters. She waited inside the locked homicide unit for less than an hour, she said, before a second detective ushered her to the lobby, saying her son was free to go and was waiting there for her.

As soon as the locked door slammed behind her, she realized she had been tricked and began to pound on the door, she said. She would not see her son again for several days. By then, he was facing a first-degree murder charge.

Homicide detectives took turns questioning Corey Beale over three days, records show. He said they slammed him against a wall, threatened him with execution and deprived him of sleep -- until he confessed to a slaying that evidence later showed he did not commit.

"They just wore me down," Beale said.


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