Police Tactics And False Confessions

1432 WordsNov 28, 20156 Pages
Police Tactics and False Confessions In recent years, there have been multiple high-profile cases of people being exonerated, often by DNA testing, after giving a false confession to a crime they did not commit. People who often fall into this trap are juveniles or those with a diminished mental capacity (Redlich, 2009). DNA testing has helped many innocent people that gave false confessions be free again. This trend brings up the question of how were they able to give a false confession. Using the example of the case of Damon Thibodaux, he was taken for questioning after a girl who they were last seen with went missing. She was found strangled and naked (Leo, 2008). A homicide officer took over the case, and Thibodaux was interrogated for several hours. Although Thibodaux repeatedly said he knew nothing about the murder, the interrogation kept going, eventually the officer was able to record a statement from Thibodaux pleading guilty of consensual and non-consensual sex with the victim, beating, and assassinating her. Thibodaux was condemned to death, and was to spend fifteen years on death row and sixteen years in jail before DNA examination confirmed that he was not guilty (Kassin, 2013). Thibodauxs exoneration proceeding concluded that fatigue and exhaustion from the overnight search for the girl, the long interrogation, psychological vulnerability, and fear of the death penalty led to the false confession by Thibodaux (Leo, 2008). This case is a great example of
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