Law enforcement is often quick to identify a suspect after a crime is committed. While it may be the officers’ intention to get to the truth, humans can sometimes be biased. This could potentially result in investigators prosecuting the person they initially identified rather than exploring all possibilities.
If officers believe a person did it, they may focus on getting a confession from that person. Confessions may, at first glance, appear to be a strong indicator of a person’s guilt. However, they are not always as they seem. Outlined below are three types of false confessions.
1. Voluntary false confessions
An accused individual may be in a vulnerable state or have serious psychological problems. They might confuse reality and think they committed the crime or admit guilt because they feel they deserve punishment. Alternatively, a person may confess to protect someone else.
2. Compliant false confessions
A suspect might believe a confession is the quickest way to end the uncomfortable situation they are in. They know they are innocent but say they did it anyway. Yet, if they were hoping the law would run its course and find them not guilty, they may be in for a surprise. A confession makes it harder to turn around and say you are innocent.
3. Persuaded false confessions
Police officers might use interview tactics that result in a coerced confession. Such methods can be so effective that they convince an innocent person that they did break the law. For instance, investigators may initiate an extremely lengthy interview, suggesting ways in which the person may have committed the crime but forgotten about it.
If you admitted to committing a crime that you did not do, it is more important than ever to have help to defend yourself against the charges you face. If you are convicted due to a false confession, you may still be able to appeal the verdict.