Sadly, it is not uncommon for people to face prison sentences for crimes they did not commit. There are numerous factors that may contribute to a wrongful conviction — including flawed investigations, mistaken identity and false confessions.
False confessions present perhaps the most significant component of wrongful convictions. It can be hard to believe that someone would confess to a crime they did not commit. However, it does happen. Outlined below are some of the key influences that can lead to false confessions.
The police interrogation process promotes them
The police interrogation process can be extremely stressful. Often, individuals just want it to be over as soon as possible. Furthermore, many officers have methods they may employ to coerce suspects into accepting responsibility.
Frequently, suspects believe that they are going to be punished regardless, and a confession will secure them a more favorable penalty. Furthermore, interrogations may become too much for a person to handle. Questioning over an extended period of time can take its toll on the mental well-being of an individual, and they may seek the quickest way to conclude the interaction.
Sleep deprivation can also lead to confusion, false confessions
Research suggests that a lack of sleep can decrease the ability of a person to reason logically. This in turn may lead to a false confession. Due to the stress and potential detainment involved with being arrested, it is highly likely that suspects will be sleep deprived. When an officer interviews a suspect in this condition, the suspect is more likely to accept guilt for a crime they did not commit.
Contemplating the common causes of false confessions could be in your best interests. If you have been wrongfully convicted of a criminal offense, it is important to understand that you have legal rights and protections.