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How do police interrogation tactics lead to false confessions?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2022 | Criminal Defense

No rational person could ever believe they are at risk of falsely confessing to a serious offense they never committed. Despite this, false confessions happen much more often than you might think.

One factor that can contribute to false confessions is the treatment of those undergoing police interrogations. If you have ever wondered why you should remain silent when dealing with law enforcement, this blog can answer some of your questions.

The Reid technique has proven to be very problematic

Members of law enforcement often use the Reid interrogation technique to elicit confessions. Unfortunately, this method allows officers to practice deception, which increases anxiety in suspects, guilty or innocent.

For example, the police can claim they have evidence proving you committed a crime. Officers may also tell you that confessing to the offense will improve your circumstances.

Deprivation techniques are another tactic used by investigators

Some interrogations last many hours, during which the subject becomes extremely stressed or fearful. Depriving the subject of rest, food and other necessities during lengthy interrogations compromises the ability to reason, and can precede a false confession.

Already stressed individuals subjected to deprivation can convince themselves that confessing will make it all go away. Police interrogators may not use coercion and inhumane treatment (sleep or food deprivation, etc.) to elicit a confession. Still, some officers may think it is okay to straddle the line between what is allowed and what is not during questioning.

As you can see, your Miranda rights, including the right to remain silent, exist to serve your best interests. Exercising these rights can ensure you have protection during interviews or interrogations conducted by law enforcement. If you fear exercising these rights will make you look guilty, just remember that submitting to a police interrogation may actually harm you even more.