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In case you happen to be one of many folks who follow the television series called ‘Making a Murderer‘, you would also be of the view that there are some innocent prisoners locked up. A report recently documented suggests that there has been a record amount of exoneration in the United States. It is tough to assess how many folks were incorrectly convicted in the U.S. but a bunch of real life cases suggest a few common reasons for wrongful conviction. Coupled with flawed forensic evidence and incorrect eyewitness testimony, false confession was found to be the top reason for wrongful conviction.
It turns out that innocent folks can also confess to crimes they did not commit. False confessions have turned out to be the reason for as many as 25 percent of the DNA exoneration. One may believe that they can never confess to a heinous crime like a murder or rape they never committed but research has now revealed that innocent people can be the usual target when they are in the interrogation room. Steven Drizin and Richard Leo are false confession experts who believe that a false confession comprises three pathways. To begin with, police officers pass the judgment that a person is guilty. Interrogators try to spot the guilt of the suspect based on their behaviour, body language and tone.
The problem with this is that police officers often lack sufficient training in regards to spotting deception. Once coercive tactics are employed in the process, the innocent person typically confesses to the crime. Young people run a greater risk of being trapped in the process compared to adults. This is simply because young folks lack the tendency to focus on long term repercussions. Particular types of personality could be more vulnerable as well. Those who quickly react to suggestions run a greater risk of being more vulnerable in during the interrogation.
Researchers are of the view that a deficiency of sleep may also lead to someone falsely confessing to a crime. A total of 88 college students were asked to be part of a study in order to prove this. The participants completed computer based jobs in a sleep lab. A false confession expert named Saul Kassin, in association with Katherine Kiechel, warned the volunteers not to press ‘escape’ as that could potentially lead to data loss. Participants who had slept at the sleep lab overnight and those who did not sleep at all turned up at the lab after a week. They were shown a statement that mentioned they had pressed the escape key. Contrary to the rested volunteers, the sleep deprived participants were found to be very likely to sign the statement.