Everyday we are hearing more and more news stories about someone being wrongfully convicted. Some of these individuals spend decades in jail before being exonerated. In some cases the suspect actually confessed to the crime, but later recanted the confession. Most people are of the belief that innocent people do not confess, That is not the case.
In most cases where a false confession was obtained it has been found that Certain factors come into play.
1.) Harsh interrogation techniques/interrogation environment .
2.) The suspects age/ mental status.
3.) length of interrogation.
4.) False promises “ Just tell me the truth and you can go home”.
5.) Suspects personality trait -looking for attention.
6.) Improper questioning/leading the suspect.
Many other factors could contribute to a suspect providing a false statement, these are just a few.
In any confession the Police should require the suspect to give them details that only the suspect would know. This means that the Police need to be cautious of the information they provide during the questioning.
Whenever feasible all statements in a Criminal Defense case should be reviewed by someone familiar in statement analysis techniques.
Robert Clark-Certified Forensic Interviewer.