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How do false confessions happen?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Before it happens to you, you may not think you could ever admit to a crime you did not commit. Most people cannot imagine giving a false confession, but it does happen. According to the American Psychological Association, Law enforcement officials who do not actively prevent them may even coax false confessions from suspects.

Stressful interrogation

Stressful interrogations occur when the police or other officials break down the suspect. For example, the police may threaten or conduct relentless interrogating to force the suspect to confess. Often, during stressful interrogations, the suspect may want to sleep or avoid worse punishment, so he or she confesses to a crime. The suspect in this case always knows that he or she did not commit a crime. Generally, once the officer lifts the pressure, the person recants the confession.

Internalized confession

Generally, young people, who may be intellectually impaired or other vulnerable people, give false confessions. These people may arrive in the interrogation room to deny any involvement in the crime, but the detective or officer puts doubt in his or her mind. For example, the officer may lie about evidence and convince the suspect to question the reality. He or she may begin to question memory too. It is possible to convert a person’s belief.

Sometimes, the suspect may be a witness to the crime. Following a traumatic event, a person may be easy to pull a false confession out of. Officers who disregard a suspect’s basic needs or use threats of violence or arrest to coax a confession do not have a valid admittance.