Coerced Confessions

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What does it take to close a case? Investigators -- engulfed in a slew of incriminating evidence and having secured some extremely reliable witnesses is a substantial amount to put away a prime suspect. What can insure that a case is closed even more quickly is a confession from the suspect. This confession usually takes a certain amount of coercion, on the part of the interrogators, to achieve. Coercion is an interrogation technique that uses intimidation to get suspects to confess to crimes whether or not they are truly guilty of any crime. Some will argue that coercion is a brilliant method with which to incarcerate criminals with. Others will say that it is much more beneficial to conduct a full investigation instead of relying on a confession that may or may not be reliable. From a personal point of view, I feel that there must be a concrete boundary indicating when coercion becomes torture. I am not against coercion when it is humane and fair but I feel that if extremely pernicious coercion techniques are used that the confession extracted from that interrogation should be discredited. In my opinion, harmful techniques include such things as the use of extreme physical violence (waterboarding, using the rack, whipping, kicking, punching, etc), depriving the suspect of food, water, and other basic necessities, the use of sexual abuse (forcing a prisoner to take part in humiliating sexual acts such as being nude), and the use of psychological torture (extended periods of isolation, shunning, mock execution, etc). I understand that interrogators have to take part in certain coercion techniques and as long as they do not include the techniques mentioned above, I think that they are acceptable and, in fact, should be used if ... ... middle of paper ... ...lems that can remain with the individual for as long as they live. There are also cases where innocent people are put into prison because they confessed to a crime they did not commit in order to avoid further interrogations. Although famous cases are there and are sure to persuade one’s opinion on the matter does not mean that you cannot keep an open mind and realize that it perhaps not such a black and white issue. Although misuse of authority can occur, coercion is a helpful device that is used to imprison the guilty by forcing information or confessions out of them. Confessions help close cases and allow the people involved to move on with their lives. In the end, it is clear that coercion must be used to a certain extent as long as it does not become torture and there should be very clear boundaries there so that the line can never be crossed.
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