Involuntary false confessions or coerced confessions are harmful to not only our pursuit of justice, but the innocent individuals who give them and their families. In recent cases of DNA exoneration it was estimated that 20% to 25% of those exonerated had given false confessions. These newly exonerated individuals spent a considerable part of their lives in jail away from their loved ones, while the real perpetrators went unpunished. These types of false confessions need to be stopped because they are doing more harm than good. First we need to look at why this type of false confession is so popular.
Current interrogation methods are contributing to the number of false confessions. Suspects are subjected to isolation, lengthy interrogations, and sometimes sleep deprivation in order to reach a confession. Isolating a suspect has been known to heighten stress and anxiety in order to wear the person down and make them more willing to cooperate with police investigators. As a real example of coercion working t...
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...l illnesses in our system. Nobody should feel as though they have to confess guilt in order to be freed from a stressful situation. We can’t allow our biases to cloud our judgement when dealing with suspects either. A lot of people have and will continue to go to jail simply because they are perceived to be guilty of a crime.
False confessions hurt everyone. Our justice system is supposed to protect the rights of all and punish those who violate those rights. Sending innocent people to jail or worse is not how our justice system is supposed to work. With every false confession we are letting a guilty person slip away unpunished and not allowing the victims to receive the justice that they deserve. Interrogation has helped put guilty people in jail for their crimes but it needs to reformed, to minimize the amount of innocent people joining the guilty being punished.
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