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False confessions

2008-10-28 15:51:55.063145+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

LA Times: The case for videotaping interrogations. Police officer Jim Trainum talks about the first time he extracted a false confession from a suspect:

... I used standard, approved interrogation techniques -- no screaming or threats, no physical abuse, no 12-hour sessions without food or water. Many hours later, I left with a solid confession.

Via, Via.

[ related topics: Psychology, Psychiatry and Personality Law Enforcement ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-10-28 16:49:46.45621+00 by: JT

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#Comment Re: made: 2008-10-28 17:13:57.246188+00 by: ebradway

An interesting conundrum:

The cops say "Why would you confess when you're not guilty?" and "You have nothing to hide if you're innocent."

At the same time they don't want their methods records. Do they have something to hide?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-10-28 19:26:24.614398+00 by: JT

Policemen usually prefer everything is recorded and videotaped in the interview rooms. People don't care about the 6 hours before it happens, but there's something emotionally powerful about a person saying "I did it." on videotape to the detective. It's almost as powerful as an eyewitness, although much more reliable than one. The whole tape is always submitted to the defense, the jury has the entire tape available to them, but they're usually concerned with the 3 seconds it takes to say "It was me."

#Comment Re: made: 2008-10-29 21:52:57.101244+00 by: mvandewettering

Nothing that a police officer does on duty should be beyond the public to review. It's the only thing that separates a country of laws from a police state.