Essay On False Confessions

Satisfactory Essays
Section One: False Confessions
The criminal justice system identifies a false confession as a written or oral statement in which an individual falsely admits to being guilty of a crime. In recent years, several cases have surfaced in which an innocent individual had falsely confessed to a crime (Frumkin & Lamendola, 2009). The consequences of these false confessions often result in innocent people being convicted of crimes that they have not committed (Schell, 2011). The case to be explored within this paper is the wrongful conviction of George Allen Jr., which will be discussed later on. False confessions can be encouraged through coercion, mental disorder, or incompetency of the accused. Although false confessions may appear to be an extraordinary and unlikely occurrence, they occur regularly in case law (Kassin, Appleby & Perillo, 2010).
Types of False Confessions
To this day, there are five different types of false confessions. These include voluntary false confessions, coerced-compliant false confessions, coerced-internalized false confessions, coerced-reactive false confessions, and coerced-substituted false confessions (Frumkin, 2010). The types of false often overlap one another; however they all have unique properties that distinguish them from one another.
Kassin and Wrightsman describe three of the five false confession types. The first is the voluntary false confession; this confession is given without any pressure from police. An innocent person willingly goes to the police to falsely confess to a crime. The individual falsely confesses for one of three reasons; because of their morbid need for notoriety, to protect a friend or relative, or a pathological need to be punished (Kassin & Wrightsman, 1985)...

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...e techniques detectives are using to obtain confessions (Gudjonsson, 2003).
In order to decrease the amount of innocent people being incarcerated due to false confessions, methods of interrogation need to be taken into consideration and modified based on how that interrogation technique obtains a confession. New interrogation techniques need to show suspects that they do not need to provide a false confession to be able to go home (Gudjonsoon, 2003). There are various types of false confessions that need to be taken into consideration when modifying interrogation techniques, as they all have their own unique properties that allow them to differ from one another (Kassin, Appleby & Perillo, 2010). It is clear that false confessions seem unlikely to most people, but society needs to accept that they occur frequently in case law and therefore need to be taken seriously.
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