Police Interrogation Research

1057 Words5 Pages
What exactly goes on behind the closed doors of law enforcement interrogation rooms remains an object of mystery, especially to the public. The thing that remains an even larger mystery, perhaps, is not only what is said behind those doors, but how these interrogations can lead to innocent people giving a false confession. Through many factors and methods, some interrogations take a turn for the worst. Police interrogations can occasionally lead to false confessions due to misclassification, coercion, and contamination. 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…show more content…
The coercion method covers a broad range of factors that are used, whether intentionally or not, to add pressure to the interrogation. Precise methods, such as providing suspects with a reason for their lack of memory, repeatedly accusing the suspect as guilty, isolating the accused from others, causing interrogations to be extensively emotional and exhausting, telling the accused that there is proof of their guilt, reminding the suspect that there are red flags in their history, and continually re-stating the severity of punishment, are all used to induce a false confession (Chapman). Whether through manipulation, induced stress and other emotions, or threats, coercive errors cause suspects to feel their only way to escape the interrogation and the pressures that come with it are to fabricate a confession. The way law enforcement interrogations are carried out causes the extensive pressure detainees are put under. As a result, it is easy to blame the interrogator for using such psychologically taxing methods. The interviewers behind these interrogations are not necessarily to blame to the extreme tactics used to force a confession though. Chapman also explains how pressures affect officers, “However, the pressure put on officers to obtain confessions from suspects leads officers to resort to coercive interrogation tactics which have the potential to lead to false confessions.” (Chapman) Officers are put under such extensive pressure, they feel their only option is to get a confession out of anyone they can. Moreover, with officers under so much pressure to get a confession, they use coercive tactics, which causes suspects to crack under the weight of the pressure and fear placed upon them and present a false confession. Intense pressures in the interrogation room is one way of many law
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