False Confessions

In: Social Issues

Submitted By cwegrzynowski
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Pages 2
It is very hard to understand why a person would confess to a crime they did not commit. Until I became a psychology major I felt it was impossible for any sane person to confess to something they did not do and even go to jail for it. There are many reasons an innocent person may make a false confession; for the sake of this discussion I chose confession through coerced internalization. Experts explain that these types of confessions occur when individuals truly believe they are guilty despite the evidence to the contrary. (Chapman 2013) The psychological research has found that some of these false confession happen during interrogation when the interrogator believes the suspect is guilty and they employ whatever means possible to get that confession. So not only will the suspect confess they will form false memories of the crime. (Chapman 2013)The regular american not studying Forensic psychology or criminal justice may assume that an innocent person would only confess if they were beaten or tortured; however there is evidence in our criminal justice system that techniques far less coercive than torture have produced verifiably false confessions in a surprising number of cases. (Contanzo, Krauss 2013)

Through the readings for this discussion I have discovered, and while I do not believe it would be fair to say that all investigators use coercion to get confessions, many police interrogation techniques used are designed to elicit a confession and overcome any denial even if the person is innocent. The police interrogation is a psychological process where the police uses three components isolation- to induce anxiety in the suspect therefore making them more likely to confess confrontation-the interrogator accuses the suspect and can use real or fictitious evidence minimization- the interrogator will show sympathy and a moral justification for the crime(Chapman…...

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