How Saul Kassin Framed Many Fine Italian Justice Officials - And Then Played Victim When Corrected
Posted by Cardiol MD
A Common Phenomenon
We take note of a common “can’t take what they hand out” phenomenon among the Sollecito & Knox supporters.
If you show unequivocally that their FACTS are wrong and that they have illegally framed (in English) good Italian officials, they melt down with numerous shrill claims that the meanies ridiculed them - because their mission and the two perps they champion are so divine and so moral.
Doug Preston, Nina Burleigh, Greg Hampikian, Steve Moore, Doug Bremner and others have all exhibited this victimhood phenomenon. Doug Preston even wrote an entire book-long wail about his victimhood.
Foolishly perverse behavior. No police or prosecutors anywhere ever appreciate being framed. In the US it is rare indeed. In Italy a single official complaint can spark a prosecutor’s investigation, and probable felony charges against any or all of them for obstruction of justice.
The Saul Kassin case surely has to be the worst of all cases, because his huge slam at Italy, with dozens of wrong facts and false accusations, was delivered as a keynote address at a John Jay College of Justice conference, to dozens of top justice officials from around the world - and to this day he perpetuates this massive academic fraud.
Presumably roughly 100% of that global audience, ignorant of the real story (a probable serious new felony by Knox), believe Knox was tortured by Italians into some kind of forced confession.
A Historical Synopsis Of Kassin’s Role
Saul Kassin, an academic psychologist, established himself as an acknowledged authority-figure on the subject of prosecutor-induced false confession, describing a profile of such confessors.
Prosecutor-induced false confession is, of course, a real phenomenon, which has existed throughout recorded history, notoriously exemplified in modern history at the Moscow Show-Trials of the 1930’s.
Years ago supporters of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (FOA), claiming that the pair were wrongly convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher, alleged that their “wrongful” conviction was based on a prosecutor-induced false confession, among some other things.
FOA concocted a false description of the events surrounding the interrogation, using as many as 50 barefaced falsehoods to create a match to the characteristics of false-confessors described by Kassin.
This creation in turn resulted in the exposure of the numerous falsehoods and deceptions, in the course of which Kassin’s work was also criticised. Offended by such criticism, Kassin wrote a paper defending his work, but sustaining the multiple falsehoods and deceptions created by the FOA.
On April 30th 2012 The American Psychologist [AP] published an Advanced Online Paper titled “Why Confessions Trump Innocence” authored by Saul Kassin (final version here) see in which he “described” the case of Amanda Knox, an American college student who had been convicted of murder in Italy, arguing that Knox was not guilty, and had been induced by prosecutorial-oppression into making a False-Confession.
In June 2012 Kassin presented his misleading keynote address to the John Jay College global conference (see page 31 of the program). Soon after he made TV and radio appearances.
In September 2012 the American Psychologist journal published Kassin’s paper in print-form (AP Vol.67 (6) Sept. 2012, 431-445). When it did so, the paper was newly accompanied by Corrections and Updates, in which Kassin states that minor (sic) corrections “should be made in the description of the Amanda Knox case.” They are not minor in their effect on the meaning of his text.
The first change substitutes for one misleading false statement, a more clearly worded false statement; changes 4. and 5. modify the allegation that Guede had raped Meredith, and that Guede’s DNA had been found in sperm at the crime scene. Not only are Kassin’s changes by no means “minor”, they are only a few of the many changes needed to acknowledge the true facts. They amply confirm the depth of Kassin’s fall into self-deception.
And in a ludicrously surreal development, Amanda Knox’s 2013 book Waiting to be Heard at great length parotted Kassin’s wrong claims about her wrong claims for which she may face new charges.
The Pro-justice Community Takes Exception
TJMK and the two PMF forums and other pro-justice, pro-victim and pro-Italy websites have long explained in Posts and Comments that the Kassin paper containing the 50 or more false or deceptive statements is so contrary to the actual facts as to be sheer obfuscation.
The first TJMK reference to False Confession was a comment by Faustus on Jan. 13th 2009. The first TJMK post questioning Saul Kassin was written by the Machine and published on 10 July 2012.
Since then TJMK has published more than a dozen articles focusing on the false facts and false accusations in Kassin’s presentations, with scores of comments expanding the corrections further. This rebuttal and this one were particularly key.
Aspects of Saul Kassin’s Background
Saul Kassin is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Recently, he was listed as in a “phased retirement” as Massachusetts Professor of Psychology from Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut.
Kassin’s Resume’ also reveals that he was once very aware of the phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophecy, and very scornful of people to whom he attributed-it.
In 2004, C.U.P. published a book entitled “The Detection of Deception in Forensic Contexts”, defining ‘forensic context’ as any context in which legal questions are raised. Kassin was the author of chapter 8, entitled “True or False: ‘I’d know a false confession if I saw one’.”, in which Kassin repeats the well-known fact that Oppression-Induced False Confession is a real phenomenon, ridiculing other professionals with the quote ’ I’d know a false confession if I saw one’.
Then he describes his own recipe for ‘knowing one’, providing a profile ideal for use by Knox, and FOA, after Meredith’s murder in 2007.
Kassin’s ridicule relies upon what he, himself, describes variously as ‘self-fulfilling prophecy, interpersonal expectancy effect, and behavioral confirmation’. He provides the reader with 6 references to the phenomenon, the first 2 focusing on Pygmalion, as the classic exemplar of seeing what you want to see.
[Pygmalion was a Cypriot sculptor who carved a woman out of ivory. His statue was so realistic that he fell in love with it. Making offerings at the altar of Aphrodite, he quietly wished for a bride who would be “the living likeness of my ivory girl”. When he returned home, he kissed his ivory statue and found that its lips felt warm. He kissed it again, touched its breasts with his hand and found that the ivory had lost its hardness. Aphrodite had granted Pygmalion’s wish. Shaw used this story as the subtext for his play ‘Pygmalion’, the musical version of which is ‘My Fair Lady’.]
Kassin’ s Resume’ also records that he served as a U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellow, working at the Federal Judicial Center .... Dr. Kassin is past president of Division 41 of APA (aka the American Psychology-Law Society).
Given these items from Dr.Kassin’s impressive resume’ a reader would expect Dr. Kassin to be professionally knowledgeable in the law relevant to his specialty; Kassin definitely OUGHT to be that knowledgeable.
In “Why Confessions Trump Innocence” readers are directed by Kassin to Dempsey, 2010, and Burleigh, 2011, noting “personal communications with Amanda Knox, Madison Paxton, and Nina Burleigh”. Consistent with Kassin seeing what he wants to see, his paper contains phrases such as “the case of Amanda Knox and others who are wrongfully convicted”. Kassin’s own self-deception seemingly promotes receptivity to deception by others.
In January the Florence Appeal Court declared Knox and Sollecito to be Guilty-Beyond-Reasonable-Doubt. All that remains is the Supreme Court’s expected firm endorsement.
As we await the Nencini Motivazione report, the senior Florence prosecutor Dr Giuliano Giambartolomei has recently announced his findings that many claims in Sollecito’s “Honor Bound”are spurious and justify new charges being brought against Sollecito.
Shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel, who recently published a self-incriminatory rant in The Guardian, has also been named, so now seems a great time to refresh TJMK’s reader’s awareness of Kassin’s arguments. Kassin’s arguments were apparently communicated to Hellmann/Zanetti by Knox’s lawyers, and Kassin himself may be liable under Italian Law.
How Saul Kassin Now Plays The Victim
Here are some quotes from an article by the duped Scott Sleek excusing Kassin’s obfuscations in “Why Confessions Trump Innocence”:
“…He noted [now begin Kassin’s obfuscations:] that Knox had been immediately identified as a suspect and presumed guilty, confessed after three days of denials and interrogations, and did not have any attorney present when undergoing questioning.”
TJMK readers know-well that the above précis is an outright falsehood.
In his defence Kassin has written: “I used it as an example, not realizing the depth of a couple of Amanda Knox hate groups that track professionals who support Amanda Knox.”
WHAT mere example? Actually Kassin placed his framing front and center, again and again and again. WHAT professionals support Knox? And the real professionals posting and reading here handily exceed Kassin’s pay-grade.
Kassin said the hate emails he received, and the blog posts criticizing him, didn’t focus on the science itself, but on his motives for analyzing Knox’s case. In essence, the attacks were personal, he stated.
Some of the messages he received felt threatening, he also said, and included statements such as: “We know where you work.” A few bloggers also wrote posts lambasting Kassin’s integrity, in one case even calling him a “shill”.
Really? TJMK is as opposed as is Kassin to hate-mail such as he describes, but believes that Kassin’s adoption of Knox’s, Sollecito’s, Paxton’s, Dempsey’s, Burleigh’s, and other FOA&S’s falsehoods, deceptions, and framings of Italian officials was far more improper, biased, and compromising of his own integrity.
Far from not focusing on Kassin’s “science” his TJMK critics have focused sharply on the falsehoods Kassin used to support his self-fulfilling prophecies.
The historical trap Kassin has fallen into is that of “Experimenter Expectancy”, or seeing what you want to see [c.f. Chapter 6, pp107-108 Betrayers Of The Truth, OUP, 1982, By Broad & Wade]:
“Expectancy leads to self-deception, and self-deception leads to the propensity to be deceived by others.”
Having fallen into the very trap Kassin himself had described in great detail in 2004, and recited in his Resume’, a legal background that ought to inform him that he was entering a potential legal minefield, Kassin proceeded, in writing, to satisfy the common-law definition of Defamation-Malice [making false statements, knowing them to be false, or made so recklessly as to amount to willful disregard for the truth].
Under Italian law, if any of those he framed complains, Kassin may be chargeable with a felony. Kassin’s MO does entail defaming the conduct of Italian Police, and Prosecutors. He has adopted many falsehoods. There is good reason to bring his integrity into question.
His best course now would be to publicly withdraw all versions of his false claims. And, finally, apologise.
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