Confessions : False Confessions And Confessions

2061 Words Apr 14th, 2015 9 Pages
False Confessions
“It was me. I did it. I’m guilty.” It’s what every interrogator is waiting for and hoping to hear. Any variation will do the job, as either is the heart of each and every confession. The main purpose of an interrogation is to elicit the truth from a suspect that they believe has lied or is guilty of the crime they’re investigating. They are looking for a confession. Confessions are the most damaging and influential piece of evidence of the suspect’s guilt that the state can use against a defendant (Leo, 2009). It makes sense. People instinctively trust confessions. After all, why would someone confess to a crime they did not commit? The mere idea that someone would admit to committing a crime they did not do boggles the mind simply because it just does not seem rational. However, the fact remains that false confessions do happen, and for a multitude of different reasons. This paper will begin with an examination of false confessions in general, then focus on the different types of false confessions, including what leads to their occurrence, and will conclude by discussing ways in which false confessions could be avoided.
To understand false confessions and why they occur, one must first know what a false confession is. A false confession is merely an admission of guilt followed by a post-admission narrative of a crime that the confessor did not actually commit (Leo, 2009). For a false confession to be a true confession, it must include the post-admission…

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