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)
Wrongful convictions have plagued the world throughout history. When crimes are committed the public feels ascertain a way about the situation. Depending on the severity of the issues, the last thing the public wants is for the criminals to get away. The pressure intensifies to catch some one for the crime.
The police then determine if the suspect is guilty and continuously interrogate, accuse, and even threaten the suspect for hours until they confess, whether they are guilty or not. On many occasions the people who are coerced into false confessions are have severe mental impairments that prevent them from functioning as a normal person with out the impairments would.
The second of Cogdell’s constitutional rights to be violated involves a case decided before the Miranda case, but is still applicable nonetheless. Police lied to Thomas throughout the interrogation, but most importantly telling him that they found a fingerprint on the bag that they were going to use to convict him. In reality, investigators could
Introduction Many important court cases depend on memory-based evidence. When there is not enough physical evidence to convict a suspect, law enforcement relies on testimonies and confessions to put criminals behind bars, yet, not all testimonies are reliable. Throughout the years, there have been many people who have been falsely convicted based on inadequate police interrogation methods that allowed for false confessions to occur. Effectiveness of Interrogation Methods Used by Civil Law Enforcement
Plea bargaining is an unethical practice because it can force innocent men to plead guilty, defense lawyers often can't see the evidence in time to advise their client, and it lets criminals get away with a lighter sentence than they should. The innocent pleading guilty The concept of an innocent man pleading guilty was far fetched in 19941. Which is truly surprising.
Confessions are irresistibly persuasive, and the effects cannot be reversed. Once a confession is given, it corrupts everything else, trumping DNA evidence and even changing witness testimonies. With the prosecutor’s argument of “just because we didn’t get all of them doesn’t mean we didn’t get all of them,” the public was completely convinced that the boys had committed the crime, and once a strong belief that somebody is guilty of a crime is formed, the contradictory details do not matter. The evidence may not fit the accusation, but they do not fundamentally change the belief in their guilt. To ensure that instances of excessive use of force are either discredited or framed within the “one bad apple” theory, the authorities fabricated a story to the press and labeled the boys as the “rotten” individuals who conspired with a sixth person (Beckett and
Capital punishment is often justified by saying that by executing the murders birth of new murders would be prevented. Executions especially when they are more painful and public create a sense of horror and halts those tempted towards criminality to violate laws. In countries such as Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Nigeria and New York crime rates are exceptionally high and this affects the population there. The police also works inefficiently in these countries and the criminals easily escape from punishments. Punishments in public especially capital punishment highly controls the crime rate in most of the countries with low crime rate.
But the fear of being perceived as a snitch is far too great compared to the fear of many years in prison. This is why apologies and owning up to mistakes just do not suffice for everybody. Going on with the topic of apologies bringing shame rather than pride, serial murderer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer was left with a pressing moral conflict when deciding whether or not to admit to his crimes. Dahmer was so afraid of disappointing his father, that he would have accepted the guilt of a dirty conscience rather than apologizing publicly, to the victim’s families. I agree that most people will argue that Dahmer had nothing to lose by publicly apologizing because the public—including his father—were going to find out no matter what.
I believe that when attempting to convict a person of a crime, there should be plenty of physical evidence of that person doing the crime in order of there to even be a case. In many cases, repressed memories can be false, but the author of Repressed Memories: True and False, believes that in some cases repressed memories can be legit but neither should be used as a reliable source in a criminal case. Only reliable sources should be used when attempting to convict another on a crime they may or may not have done. Loftus experiments prove that cases that involve repressed memories as a primary source are typically weak cases (Reisner Paragraph 13). In reality, and type of evidence used in a criminal case should be physical.
I think that the court systems should have a little more power when it comes to choosing due process or criminal control. If the person is a first time offender and it is a small crime then I think they should have the right to defend themselves. On the other hand if the person is being prosecuted for the second or more time for the same type of offense or if it was an offense that is very bad then I feel that they need to be punished for the crimes that they have committed. I do believe that there should be balance because not all court cases need to be dealt with to the extreme of punishments but then there are some cases and individuals that never seem to learn so they need to be dealt with in a different way to deter them and others from committing those same
Julia Angwin’s article, “Machine Bias”, focuses on racial bias in a “crime-predicting” software used by judges and courts. Angwin explains how these computer programs try predict the likelihood of an individual committing another crime in the future, and then assigning them a risk score based on the findings. Unfortunately, as Angwin explains, these programs are usually sent out into the market without first being tested; This means that court officials are using unverified statistics to determine the sentencing of defendants, which has lead to high controversy over such programs. In addition, a lack of transparency by the program creators have lead many to believe that the software was created with an internal racial bias. Angwin explains
Most commonly these methods are used in unison good cop/bad cop, the good cop pretends to save the suspect from the bad cop saying things like just tell him what he wants before it gets worse. The suspect will hopefully find comfort from being saved and confess sometimes confessing to even more than he/she was questioned about. Although these interrogation methods seemed a little like trickery it still is far better than tactics once used such as torture of suspects to make them confess. These methods include psychological as well as physical torture.
Supposedly capital punishment was created to deter criminals from committing horrible acts of rape and murder, however, today judges and the jury are eager to make anyone the scapegoat for the crimes committed; even the innocent. Nowadays, the judicial system becomes more discriminatory, toward gender, income, and race, in capital crime cases because of the desire to find, what is hoped to be, justice. When someone is convicted of any crime and is in the process of being arrested it is a law that his or her Miranda Rights must be stated before the arrest takes place. One of the major rights stated is “ If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to you.” Now, if the person being arrested has a higher income normally the attorney hired is very experienced and can make the most guilty person sound innocent.