Thesis: Police interrogations can occasionally lead to false confessions due to misclassification, coercion, and contamination. I. The phrase “Innocent until proven guilty” is a popular statement among law enforcement and government employees, but this statement is not always upheld, as various errors, such as misclassification, are a major cause of false confessions. A. Misclassification errors are caused by “investigator bias,” where the investigator goes into the interrogation believing the suspect is guilty. (Keene) B.
It’s mind blowing how the justice sentence can convict somebody solely off an eye witness testimony, especially if the eye-witness isn’t accurate. “Eyewitness misidentification is the greatest contributing factor to wrongful convictions proven by DNA testing, playing a role in more than 70% of convictions overturned through DNA testing nationwide.’’ (Eyewitness Misindentification,2017) Immediately after reporting the crime, the victim was taken to a hospital where a rape kit was administered, and swabs were taking from her body. Days after the rape the victim was also shown two photo lineups of suspects, however she didn’t identify anyone. Following the attack, the victim moved from San Antonio to Dallas. The case remained unsolved for a little over a year, that was until Dallas detectives mailed another photo line up to the victim in San Antonio, where she subsequently chose Lindsey as her alleged rapist.
When they say there confession in their own language it can be misinterpreted by lawyers and police to make it say what they want to hear which leaves the victim at a disadvantage. False confessions are miscommunicated by detectives and police because the victim speaks a different language. An example of this happening is with the case of Angel Gonzalez. Angel Gonzalez is a Hispanic man who was convicted of kidnap and rape in 1995. When Angel was arrested for this crime and taken in by police he knew little English.
In fact there has been much research showing the problems with eyewitness testimony such as suggestive police interviewing, unconscious transference, and malleability of confidence (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p.227). All of these components lead to eyewitness error and essentially false incrimination. Secondly, another factor that can contribute to wrongful conviction is the use of jailhouse informants. Campbell & Denov (2016), describe jailhouse informants as prisoner informants that “provide information to law enforcement officials in exchange for money, property, or the promise of leniency in sentencing” (p. 229). This can be problematic because jurors place value on the
While it is true innocent people have been exonerated while on death row and some may have even been executed, new technology provides greater evidence to proof either one’s guilty or innocent ( “Wrongful Convictions Overturned in Death Penalty Cases Due to Advances in DNA Testing”). The advancement in DNA testing allows future cases and past cases to obtain justice, ensuring that the innocent will not have to worry of wrongful convictions and victims families can gain closure. There are other factors that can tie into wrongful convictions these are the jurys, courts, and police. Bias based on race or religion does occur, prosecutors have been found to sometimes target individuals using the death penalty as a trophy to show off (“Wrongfully Convicted Louisiana Man Asks Justice Department to Investigate New Orleans Prosecutors”). In 2010 exonerations for black males were 71, higher than white males which were 53 (“Capital Punishment: Cruel and Unusual?”).
Walking out after my False Confessions speech on Monday, I felt defeated. While I know no speech is ever perfect- including mine- it did not live up to my expectations for myself. Although everyone seemed interested in my topic, my introduction was good, and I presented without even looking at my notecards, I was visibly frustrated when presenting because of time. Time constraints always make me anxious and underperform whether it be timed testing, racing against the clock in a swim meet, or presenting a speech. My anxiety caused me to fumble over the words I had practiced so clearly earlier and rush through citations that gave a lot of credibility to the speech.
In the article it shows that it was at times that there were innocent people waiting to be executed even though they were innocent and were lucky that evidence of their innocence emerged if it didn't they would have be executed. “Since 1973, 144 people on death row have been exonerated. As a percentage of all death sentences, that's just 1.6 percent. But if the innocence rate is 4.1 percent, more than twice the rate of exoneration... an untold number of innocent people have been executed...”(One in 25 sentenced to death in the U.S. is innocent, study claim). It is a small chance of getting executed even if innocent that is why the death penalty should be illegal in the