The main purpose of this essay is to examine and understand why innocent people sometimes confess to crimes they did not commit. This essay will also be looking into factors that coerce innocent suspects to give false statements and confess to crimes they did not commit during police interroga... ... middle of paper ... ...te suspects. In conclusion there are numerous ways of understanding why people falsely confess to crimes. The police and other investigatory agencies play significant roles in prompting false confessions. As research in this essay has shown, individual differences, stereotypical threats, personal and situational factors can lead to reasons why false confessions occur.
One such cases, that of Engin Raghip of the so-called ‘Tottenham three’ will be discussed in the context of admissibility of psychological evidence in order to demonstrate how the judiciary has increasingly come to accept the psychological notion that most people, under certain circumstances, are susceptible to making false confessions. In order to better understand why people confess to crimes they have not committed, Kassin an... ... middle of paper ... ...expert testimony in assessing the reliability of disputed confessions. The reason people make false confessions is typically due to a combination of factors such as psychological vulnerabilities, nature of the custodial confinement and the police interviewing tactics. Standardized psychological tests have been devised in order to assess personality factors such as suggestibility and compliance that render some people more vulnerable than others but these should never bee looked at in isolation. Studies indicate that reported cases are only the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
A false confession to any crime is self-destructive and counterintuitive. The mental state of the suspect can give explanation to a false confession. If a person is inebriated and is questioned before she is sober, that may lead to easier manipulation by the police. A suspect under the influence of alcohol or drugs may not remember all the events leading up to her arrest. This mental state allows police officers to give misleading information, which may imply that the suspect did commit the crime and does not remember the incident.
Then, polygraph examiners determine if the criminal is lying. Lie detectors have been used since the 1900’s. (Sterbenz, 2015) Citizens have complained about lie detectors but still, police carelessly use lie detector tests today. When taking a Polygraph test, polygraph examiners test to see if a suspected criminal is lying. (Baran, 2016) To see if the suspected criminal is lying, polygraph examiners
Because of this, research has been done to get to explain why and how false confessions occur. There are several variables that contributed to falsely confessing to a crime. First, the type of individual confessing has to be examined. Why do some individuals feel that the easiest way to remove themselves from a situation is to falsely confess? According to Larmour at el.
"This test is often used to determine whether certain criminal suspects should be prosecuted or classified as uninvolved in the crime" (American Psychological Association). The Directed Lie Test (DLT). This test tries to detect lying by comparing physiological responses when the subject is told to deliberately lie to responses when they tell the truth. The Guilty Knowledge Test (GKT). This test compares physiological responses to multiple-choice type questions about the crime, one choice of which contains information only the crime investigators and the criminal would know about.
In witnessing a criminal act, specifically a horrific one, it would seem that a witness would be able to accurately recall the events. However, many eyewitnesses give inaccurate accounts of crimes and more importantly, mistaken identities of those involved in the crime. What is the cause of the inaccuracies? It has been found through research that eyewitness testimony is fallible a... ... middle of paper ... ...idering the reliability of eyewitness accounts. False memories (or pseudomemories) occur when a person recalls events that never actually occurred.
The case of Mark Diaz Bravo is an example of how false testimony can not only destroy an individual’s life, but how eyewitness error can lead to the wrongfully convicted being falsely imprisoned. Mr. Bravo was accused of raping a psychiatric patie... ... middle of paper ... ...d on eyewitness error. Although the amount of error in eyewitness memory is currently being debated, the fact that there is error at all should be taken more seriously by the justice system. References Goldstein, E.B. (2011).
In many cases, officers will arrest an individual who fits a certain description that they know will lead to an arrest and conviction. In the case of Guy Paul Morin it shows how the system failed in aiding the innocent who abide to the law. The law is established to protect those who are innocent from being targeted because of the law. The aspect of wrongful conviction is established within law to protect the innocent from being abused by the law. Nevertheless, the real issue of concern is the fact of whether wrongful conviction actually helps those who cannot help themselves.
One psychological phenomenon I found throughout the documentary was the confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is an inclination to search out evidence that confirms our beliefs and to ignore evidence that contradicts our beliefs. This usually occurs when someone has a flawed interpretation of a suspect’s verbal and nonverbal behavior. “Scores of research studies demonstrate that once we form a strong belief about someone, we tend to both seek out information that confirms that belief, and to dismiss information that contradicts that belief. As research on wrongful convictions indicates, police sometimes misperceive innocent suspects as guilty because the suspect did not behave the “right way” when questioned.” (Costanzo 54) In chapter 3 (Lie