Police Interrogations and False Confessions: Current Research, Practice, and Policy Recommendations
Although it is generally believed that wrongful convictions based on false confessions are relatively rare—the 1989 Central Park jogger "wilding" case being the most notorious example—recent exonerations of the innocent through DNA testing are increasing at a rate that few in the criminal justice system might have speculated. Because of the growing realization of the false confession phenomenon, psychologists, sociologists, and legal/law-enforcement scholars and practitioners have begun to examine the factors embedded in American criminal investigations and interrogations that may lead innocent people to implicate themselves in crimes they did not commit.
Police Interrogations and False Confessions brings together a group of renowned scholars and practitioners in the fields of social psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, criminology, clinical-forensic psychology, and law to examine three salient dimensions of false confessions:
- interrogation tactics and the problem of false confessions
- review of Supreme Court decisions regarding Miranda warnings and custodial interrogations
- new research on juvenile confessions and deception in interrogative interviews
Chapters include well-recognized programs of research on the topics of interrogative interviewing, false confessions, the detection of deception in forensic interviews, individual differences, and clinical-forensic evaluations.
The book concludes with policy recommendations to attenuate the institutional and social psychological persistence (and pervasiveness) of the various inducements and impediments that have informed law enforcement's interrogation techniques and the types of false confessions they encourage.