False and Coerced Confessions

Robert J. Norris, Jeremy Shifton and Allison D. Redlich

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online April 2011 | | DOI:
False and Coerced Confessions

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In the past two decades, the scholarly interest in and literature on false and coerced confessions has grown tremendously. In large part, this growth is due to the uncovering of hundreds of factually innocent persons wrongly convicted because of false confessions. False confessions are statements made inside or outside the interrogation context that implicate the individual in a crime that he or she did not commit. False confessions can be made voluntarily or through coercion. Coerced confessions are statements that may be true or false but were not made by one’s own free will. In the United States, confessions are only admissible if they were made voluntarily. Most of the extant research has focused on false, as opposed to coerced, confessions. However, in understanding why an innocent person would claim responsibility for a crime she or he did not commit, it is also possible to understand why a guilty person would do so in the face of coercive interrogation tactics. False and coerced confessions have been studied using a variety of methodologies. The research has not only focused on how these confessions come about but also on related topics, such as their weight in the courtroom, the ability to recognize them, and reforms designed to reduce their occurrence.

Article.  13798 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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