The three false confessions identified in the article are voluntary, compliant and internalized confessions. (Kassin and Wrightsman 1985). In voluntary confession people accept crimes they never committed even without being coerced by the interrogator. Reasons behind which people admit crimes may vary from wanting to protect somebody else, feeling of guilt for mistake not done, wishing to punish themselves. Compliant false confession occurs when suspects accept crimes they didn’t commit for their own good; either gets a reward, avoid stress or punishment. In this case the suspect considers to gain the short term benefits without considering the long term suffering he may undergo. In internalized false confession suspects are made to believe that they committed the crime after an intensive interrogation which usually has leading questions.
In the process of interrogation the police can choose to isolate or take the suspect away from the family and friends. This usually makes the suspects uncomfortable and desire to get out of the situation. The police also can confront the suspects by accusing them of the crime and showing them substantial supportive information for their claim. Thirdly minimizing of the charge by justifying the crime in moral terms can also be used. This makes the suspect to confess the offense not committed by expecting a more lenient charge.
Police usually present false evidence to make to suspects in order to check if they will accept crimes. This misinformation changes the people’s state of mind and accept quilt unlike their initial stands based on their knowledge. Common situational risk factors include youth whereby the youth are very vulnerable to admitting crimes they never committed. This may happen so as to gain immediate peace of mind and without looking into the future risks involved in accepting the crime. Some individuals are very prone to suggestibility and when they misled with a leading question they tend to accept what they did not do blindly. This commonly happens to people who are highly fearful.
Phenomenology is when a person accepts crime he did not commit due to the believe that justice will take its due coarse and that they will be proven innocent. They believe that the rule of law will sympathize with them for being open and telling them what they expect to hear. For example a convict who had spend years in jail for accepting crime which he had not committed when asked why he had to accept it and he had not committed he said that he was that he was very certain that he would be exonerated from the charges by a DNA test. He thought that at the end of the case he will be free after been proved innocent. Suspects usually cooperate with the interrogators at the expense of their rights.
When one gives a confession trial judges are put in place to examine the claims. One chamber examines whether the suspect is totally guilt. This is an obvious task however. Innocent confessors are convicted due to the belief that it is not easy that one can admit an offense he never committed. Secondly confession by itself is taken to be evidence whereby one can’t take it for granted even if it is not justifiable.
Kassin, S.M. and Wrightsman, L.S. (1985). The psychology of evidence and trial procedure. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.