In Georgia and through the rest of the country, there are people exonerated almost every day for crimes they did not commit. Surprisingly, some of them were convicted because they confessed to the crime. If you have been charged with a crime it may be difficult for you to understand how someone could confess if they are not guilty, but they are many reasons it happens.
According to the Innocence Project, there are some common reasons that people will falsely confess, including the following:
- Law enforcement officials use perceived threat of force or real force during interrogation
- Perceived or real intimidation by members of law enforcement
- Stress, hunger, exhaustion, mental limitations, substance abuse or limited education of the suspect can lead to a comprised ability to reason
- Young people who are taught to please authority and do not understand their legal rights may be vulnerable to false confession
- Fear that if they do not confess there will be a harsher punishment
At times, dishonest interrogation techniques are even used. This could mean that interrogators make false statements about evidence they have that the person committed the crime. To avoid false confessions, it is suggested that all interrogations are recorded electronically. This can protect the suspect’s rights, prevent disputes about how law enforcement treated or handled a suspect and allow interrogators to focus on the interview itself rather than trying to take detailed notes during the conversation.
While federal law enforcement agencies must record custodial interrogations, only about half of the states require recording. Georgia is not included on this list. If you feel you have been the victim of unfair interrogation techniques and admitted to something you did not do, you may benefit from speaking to a criminal defense attorney.
This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.