The Central Park Five Case And Martin Tankleff

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What does the Central Park Five case and Martin Tankleff have in common? In both New York cases, the suspects provided false confessions to law enforcement, and they were found guilty because of interrogation tactics utilized by law enforcement. Several years after these cases, Kassin and Kiechel conducted a study that addresses the issue of false confessions. While people find it hard to believe that anyone would confess to a crime he or she did not commit, there are people who end up making a false confession. In the Central Park Five case, the police managed to get the young boys to admit to the crime with the false promise that they would be allowed to go home if they confessed (Kassin, 2002). For Martin Tankleff, while in an…show more content…
Before the test began, participants were made aware of the consequences of pressing the “ALT” button on the keyboard. During the “experiment” the computer would stop working and the confederation accused the participant of being the cause of it (Kassin & Kiechel, 1996). For this experiment, there were several independent variables and several dependent variables that Kassin and Kiechel (1996) focused on. The participants’ level of vulnerability was one independent variable. This took the form of the rate that the confederate read the letters with the help of a mechanical metronome. A mechanical metronome was used to set the pace for reading. The slower pace was set at 43 letters per minute, and the faster pace was set at 67 letters per minute. The other independent variable was the use of false incriminating evidence. This was accomplished by having the confederate state whether or not she saw the participant press the “ALT” key. For this experiment, witnessing the action was considered false incriminating evidence (Kassin & Kiechel, 1996). In addition to the independent variables, Kassin and Kiechel (1996) identified three dependent variables that they wanted to measure. The first variable was compliance. To measure compliance, the participant was asked to write and sign a confession that stated that he or she pressed the “ALT” button. If the participant wrote and signed the confession, the principal investigator would call. The

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