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False Confessions Essay

748 words - 3 pages

Pressure can force people into doing deranged actions. When innocent people plead guilty or make incriminating statements the main reason is because they feel guilty or know more inside information. There have been many cases in which an innocent person was secretly blackmailed or forced into pleading guilty. The mental state of a confessor is also vital in knowing the truth. Confessions from juveniles is usually unreliable because most of the time they don’t understand the situation completely and they can also be manipulated easier than an adult could. Mentally capable adults confess when they’re innocent for a variety of reasons, exhaustion from excessive interrogation,a belief that they ...view middle of the document...

Most confessions from children are unreliable because most of the time they don’t fully understand the seriousness of the situation. Such as Dorcas Good, Sarah Good’s four year old daughter. Dorcas was arrested because she confessed to being a witch, it’s believed she only did it so she could be with her Sarah in jail. Being relentlessly interrogated can also lead to a false confessions. Most of the Magistrates in the Witch trials had already made up their minds up about the accused. Many of the accused just confessed, knowing that they weren’t going to change their minds, also they were treated better if they confessed. One of the main reasons for false confessions presently is to be rewarded with a lighter sentence. Suspects with anxiety or personality disorder can not withstand harsh interrogation so many crack under pressure. Some suspects find falsely confessing an escape route. The most common explanation for a confession is, “I just wanted to go home.” “The circumstances of interrogation are crucial. ‘Everybody has a breaking point. Nobody confessed falsely in a hour,’ says Kassin.” No matter age or mental state every confessor has a moment where they believe falsely confessing would be more...

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