The findings from these field studies of aggregated false-confession cases are consistent with those from experiments and public opinion surveys. Compliant false confessions occur as a result of the sequenced influence process through which detectives seek to persuade a suspect that he is indisputably caught and that the most viable way to mitigate his punishment and escape his otherwise hopeless situation is by confessing.40 As has been well documented, American police use interrogation techniques that are designed, on the one hand, to convince a suspect that he is caught and that it is futile for him to deny the crime and, on the other hand, techniques that are designed to motivate him to perceive that it is in his interest to confess. They literally tell the person who is questioning them what they believe the questioner wants to hear. NOTE: We only request your email address so that the person you are recommending the page to knows that you wanted them to see it, and that it is not junk mail. But voluntary false confessions need not be rooted in psychological maladies. They also tend to occur primarily in high-profile murder cases and to be the product of unusually lengthy and psychologically intense interrogations.7 Once he is removed from the interrogation environment and its attendant influences and pressures, the persuaded false confessor typically recants his confession.9,20 Some recant even before the interrogation terminates. Persuaded false confessions appear to occur far less often than compliant false confessions. Various reasons have been given to explain this type of confession. Put differently, police more readily recognize and discount voluntary false confessions than those they elicit.9. Assuming Dassey’s confession is false what recourse does he, or other defendants who voluntarily give false confessions have? Whether to interrogate or not is therefore a critical decision point in the investigative process. Youth (especially young children) also lack the cognitive capacity and judgment to understand the nature or gravity of an interrogation or the long-term consequences of their responses to police questions. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Escobedo v. Illinois: Supreme Court Case, Arguments, Impact, What Is Racketeering? Although researchers and scholars have long documented the problem of wrongful conviction,3 the use of DNA testing to exonerate innocent prisoners and the sustained media attention that it has received has increased public recognition that the criminal justice system often convicts the wrong people.4 Although the number of wrongful convictions continues to mount, the DNA exonerations represent only a small part of a much larger problem. They are thus highly suggestible and easy to manipulate. These have been referred to as the misclassification error, the coercion error, and the contamination error.7. For example, a weak and ambiguous eyewitness identification that otherwise may have been quickly dismissed in the absence of a confession is treated instead as corroboration of the confession's underlying validity. Police-induced false confessions result from a multistep process and sequence of influence, persuasion, and compliance and usually involve psychological coercion.13 Police are more likely to elicit false confessions under certain conditions of interrogation, however, and individuals with certain personality traits and dispositions are more easily pressured into giving false confessions. To date, more than 220 individuals have been exonerated by postconviction DNA testing and released from prison, some from death row (e.g., see the Innocence Project at www.innocenceproject.org). A disturbing number of these cases involved false confessions given by innocent defendants during a psychologically coercive police interrogation. Voluntary or Involuntary Confessions Why the five boys confessed isn't known, Kassin says, but the police interrogation may have played a role. False confessions raise important questions for social scientists, mental health professionals, policy-makers, and the public. The mentally ill possess a range of psychiatric symptoms that make them more likely to agree with, suggest, or confabulate false and misleading information and provide it to detectives during interrogations. Why would someone who is innocent confess to a crime? The suspect offers up the remaining basis for his belief in his innocence: that he has no memory of committing the crime. Ofshe and Leo20 extended and modified the initial typology of Kassin and Wrightsman21 to include five distinct types of false confession: voluntary, stress-compliant, coerced compliant, coerced-persuaded, and noncoerced-persuaded. "True Crimes, False Confessions. Although there was never any evidence that he ever committed such crimes, Ingram confessed after he went through 23 interrogations, hypnotism, pressure from his church to confess, and was provided graphic details of the crimes by a police psychologist who convinced him that sex offenders often repress memories of their crimes. They use it to influence, shape, and sometimes even script the suspect's narrative. This classification scheme most accurately captures the psychological logic and variation in false confessions. The developmentally disabled are more likely to confess falsely for a variety of reasons.24,25 First, because of their subnormal intellectual functioning, low intelligence, short attention span, poor memory, and poor conceptual and communication skills, they do not always understand statements made to them or the implications of their answers. Typically, the interrogator suggests one version or another of a “repressed” memory theory. False confessions are therefore the most incriminating and persuasive false evidence of guilt that the state can bring against an innocent defendant. As a result, social scientists and mental health professionals must continue to conduct empirical research and educate the public about the increasing documentation of false confessions and the interrogative influences that promote them and ultimately lead to the conviction of the innocent. The interrogation may span hours, as often occurs with compliant false confessions, weakening a suspect's resistance, inducing fatigue, and heightening suggestibility. Most lay people believe in what has been referred to as the myth of psychological interrogation: that an innocent person will not falsely confess to police unless he is physically tortured or mentally ill.10 This belief has been noted by several scholars and documented in public surveys.7,11,12 The myth of psychological interrogation persists because most people do not know what occurs during police interrogations, and because they wrongly assume that individuals do not act against their self-interest or engage in self-destructive behavior, such as falsely confessing to a crime that they did not commit. This article, empirical research on the causes and correlates of false confession is the threat. 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