It may not be a confessional, but it is one way to clear your conscience. At least it was for 22 year old Matthew Cordle.
The 3 ½ minute video begins with Cordle’s face blurred as he describes the night of the accident. Cordle explains that he was out with friends bar hopping and that he drinks as a way to cope with depression. He goes on to say that he blacked out drove into oncoming traffic colliding with another car.
“My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani,” the Columbus, Ohio man said as his face became visible. “This video will act as my confession.”
Cordle tells the camera that, when he is charged, he’ll plead guilty and “take full responsibility for everything [he’s] done to Vincent and his family.”
According to Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien, Cordle was a suspect in the accident, but had not yet been charged. Cordle tested positive for alcohol on the night of collision. O’Brien since has copied the digital confession to a CD as evidence and plans on asking a grand jury to indict Cordle for aggravated vehicular homicide with an alcohol specification. A conviction carries a maximum of eight years in prison.
That doesn’t matter to Cordle as he explains that he understands that, by releasing the video, he’s giving the prosecution “everything they need to put [him] away for a very long time.”
Cordle ends the video by “begging” viewers to “make the promise to never drink and drive.”
At least from what I’ve seen, Cordle has received a backlash by viewer commentary following the video with people questioning the sincerity of the confession. Others asked, if all Cordle wanted to do was confess, why a highly produced video was made instead of just walking into the police and make a statement.
As an attorney, I never tell my clients to confess. But give the guy some credit. He could have just walked into the police station, but no one would have heard his story. He would not have had the opportunity to ask others to not make the mistake of driving drunk.
Why question his sincerity? What does he have to gain? He’s likely headed off to prison for quite a while.
As for the production, the video was produced by “Because I said I Would,” a social movement dedicated to bettering humanity through the power of a promise.