Why do Innocent people confess to Crimes they did not Commit?

Posted on: September 14th, 2010  |  No Comments

The New York Times on Tuesday, shed light on a problem that, although well-known to criminal defense lawyers, is not realized by the general public.

Year after year, in states all across the county, relentless detectives and investigators extract confessions from defendants who are, beyond any reasonable doubt, innocent of the crime charged. The New York Times attempts to give some explanation for what seems to be an unthinkable scenario.

“[Police] become so fixated on ‘This is the right person, this is the guilty person’ that [they] tend to ignore everything else…”


“You’ve never been in a situation so intense, and you’re naïve about your rights,” [said a man falsely accused an incarcerated for 10 years]. “You don’t know what you’ll say to get out of that situation.”

The New York Times article points to research conducted by Professor Brandon L. Garrett of the University of Virginia and quotes Peter J. Nuefeld, a founder of the Innocence Project.

Read the full story at the New York Times »
Read Professor Garrett’s Stanford Law Review Article »

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