False and Coerced Confessions
Most law enforcement officers act in good faith, most of them work in law enforcement because they want to help people and because they want to make our streets and communities better, safer for our families.
Police interrogations are an important and necessary tool that law enforcement agencies use to obtain important information from suspects. Often, the information obtained during these interrogations is vital to ensure that the perpetrator is convicted in a criminal case. However, not all the interviewees and suspects are actually participants in the crime in question, and they are not necessarily involved in the crime for which they are interrogated.
Some suspects are required to provide the police with an alibi, i.e. to tell them where they were at the time of the crime. There were cases when an innocent person could not check his alibi because of the lack of witnesses. Typical example: the suspect was home alone on the night of the murder. If no one can verify their alibi, they may have problems if they match the description of the suspect.
Even with the best of intentions there will be police officers who think they have caught the “right person” or will be investigators who have already made a decision for various reasons. When this happens, it can be quite difficult for the suspect, especially if there is no real evidence in the case. When a team of detectives simply frees the suspect for lack of evidence, others may not let him go so easily.
It is believed that the work of the police is based on evidence, but some of them may be based on the intuition of a law enforcement officer, based on the personal experience of law enforcement agencies. Although most convictions are based on irrefutable evidence, a certain percentage of them are based on circumstantial evidence. Criminal cases without physical evidence can also be corroborated by false or forced confessions.
Over the past twenty years, hundreds of convicts have been acquitted on the basis of DNA data. When new evidence releases convicted prisoners, the question arises as to why these suspected criminals confessed to their crimes. It is difficult to imagine a confession of a crime that you have not committed, but unfortunately, false confessions are quite common.
It is estimated that the police gave false confessions in 25% of DNA cases. These false confessions have become the main reason for unfair condemnation. False confessions are a common problem in the U.S. legal system, and false confessions are one of the biggest sources of falsehood leading to wrongful accusations.
Why do people make false confessions that are the driving force behind this? Several factors can lead to false confessions. Sometimes a false confession can be a mistake by a suspect without the outside influence of the police. In other cases, investigators were accused of aggressive interrogation techniques.
People can give false confessions if they are coerced, drunk, mentally retarded or unfamiliar with the law. In other cases, they respond to the threat of the investigator and fear bodily harm. They may be afraid of law enforcement and face grueling prison terms.
In other cases, people may admit falsely trying to protect someone, this can happen when a parent confesses to a crime committed by their child. Psychologically literate people can, after a long and exhausting interrogation, confess to a crime they did not commit. They can be hungry, exhausted and just want to go home. Sometimes they surrender and confess to a crime they did not commit, with the intention of solving the case later.
Probably one of the worst types of false or coercive confessions stems from the harsh interrogation tactics of a seemingly convinced police officer. From time to time, a police officer uses force or threats to recognize an innocent person. Often they tell a person that his sentence will be more lenient if he confesses, and sometimes tell people that confession can help them avoid the death penalty.