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S3E1: Confess or Die: Beating a False Confession into Johnny Hincapie for the Murder of a Hero

Johnny Hincapie was convicted as part of a gang that murdered 22-year-old tourist Brian Watkins, even though he himself was not charged with the act and neither the victim’s family nor the other attackers identified him as a perpetrator. In 1990, Brian Watkins and his family were attacked on a New York City subway platform by a group of 6 to 8 teenagers when they were in town for the U.S. Open, resulting in the death of Watkins as he tried to defend his parents. Johnny was only 18 years old at the time, and he did not have a lawyer present during his interrogation. He falsely confessed to the crime, after being tortured by police who threatened to kill him. After spending 25 years in prison, Johnny’s conviction was overturned based on the statements of several witnesses who testified that he was in fact not a part of the group of attackers. He was formally exonerated in January 2017.


Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

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