Criminal Suspects Give False Confessions
At the Griffin Law Office, APC, our San Diego criminal defense attorney knows that it is nearly impossible for individuals to wrap their heads around why anyone would confess to a crime they did not commit.
Fortunately, most people who are baffled by these scenarios have never been interrogated by California law enforcement, so have no idea just how intimidating the experience can be.
Research by the California Innocence Project shows deceptive interrogation tactics have been used by law enforcement for years, including techniques that presume guilt and focus on getting a confession, rather than the full story.
The fact is, false confessions are one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions, according to data compiled by the Project. There have been at least 375 DNA exonerations by the group, and nearly a third (29%) involved false confessions, and 31% of those false confessors were 18 or younger at the time of their arrest.
Here, our San Diego County criminal defense lawyer explores the reasons false confessions happen and how California legislators are addressing potential reforms.
Law Enforcement Interrogation Techniques are Leading to False Confessions Throughout California
The purpose of an interrogation is for law enforcement to collect information or obtain a confession and admission of guilt. False confession cases typically result from the way that an interrogation has taken place.
As the police feel immense pressure to find the individual(s) responsible for the crime they are investigating, they may intimidate or coerce the person in question to admit to their involvement in a crime using physical or psychological abuse.
In return, the individual may admit to a crime he or she did not commit in response to police lies, or after hours of being worn down during brutal interrogations.
A new California law prohibits law enforcement from using threats, lies, or other “psychologically manipulative” interrogation on juvenile suspects. However, according to the California Innocence Project, the majority (69%) of false confessors were adults at the time of the arrest.
In other cases, people will make false confessions because their ability to reason and think through the situation has been compromised by mental illness.
Law enforcement intimidation and coercion, and other false confession scenarios reinforce the fact that anyone who is being investigated or arrested for a crime in California must invoke their Constitutional right to remain silent and right to counsel before answering any questions.
Contact our Skilled San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Contact our skilled San Diego criminal defense attorney today to learn more about your legal rights, and how we can help ensure they are protected from the start of your case by calling 619-269-2131 to discuss the details of your arrest today.