60 Minutes Recap 12/9/2012: Tortoises Sold Juveniles Confess To Uncommitted Crimes

60 Minutes starts of tonight talking about how some juveniles are coerced into falsely admitting to rape crimes that they did not commit. After brutally long sessions of up to 18 hours, the young men thought that they would be allowed to go home if they just signed a confession for a crime they did not commit. Tyrell Swift endured a 12 hour long interrogation when he was just 17 years old. A victim had falsely identified him as a rapist. Police were sure they had their man and wanted a confession.

Now it seems bizarre that a person would say they committed a crime when they did not. In the case of an adult I might agree but young adults do not fully understand the consequences of their plea bargains. Tyrell thought if he gave the police what they wanted he would be allowed to just go home and the nightmare interrogation would be over. That was far from the truth and he spent years in jail.

DNA evidence showed that Tyrell was not the rapist but prosecutors said the DNA inside the victim was from some other guy who had sex with the lady after she was dead. Juries have a hard time dealing with people who say they confessed out of duress. Thankfully, the Freedom Project saw this case to a great conclusion as Tyrell is now free.

Turtles are valued for their shells and as pets. Some of the most endangered ones can bring $60,000 dollars on the black market. One man, Eric Good has spent a small fortune in order to save these majestic creatures. He funds projects around the globe to help identify people who are dealing in endangered tortoises. He takes 60 Minutes to a market in Asia to show how easily this illegal trade flourishes. While there, they are offered several tortoises that are on the endangered species list. One offer is for a ploughshare tortoise which is the most endangered of all with only 300 left in the world. Eric rescues as many tortoises he can using his own money and sends them to Madagascar where they can hopefully live out there lives without being hunted again.

Photo courtesy of 60 Minutes


  1. Rob says

    After watching the interview with Anita Alvarez trying to convince people she still believes these men are guilty even though DNA proved they were innocent was horrifying. She blatantly sat there and tried to cover up this tragedy and even tried to say another person had sex with the dead body and that’s why the DNA didn’t match. I don’t think anybody watching this episode believed a word that came out of her mouth and the extent of corruption and criminal contempt she was willing to commit to cover up this heinous crime. She made the state attorneys office look like it was being run by incompetent morons that are willing to commit perjury to cover up their mistakes. What the hell kind of justice system is that! It’s easy to see who the real criminals are and they should be charged with criminal conspiracy to commit perjury and held responsible for their actions.

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