There's One Reason Someone Would Confess To A Crime They Did Not Commit

There's One Reason Someone Would Confess To A Crime They Did Not Commit

If you are being interrogated, always consult a defense attorney, even if you are innocent.


According to the Innocence Project, one out of four people who were convicted but later exonerated due to DNA evidence had false confession used as evidence to incriminate them.

Why would these people have confessed to a crime they did not commit? Why would they go through a trial knowing their innocence? This is a hard concept to understand because nobody thinks they would confess if they were innocent. This gives the false confession more weight in the jury decision-making.

In this article, I will be talking about why people confess to false crimes and what changes could be made to prevent it. There are three types of false confessions: voluntary false confessions, compliant false confessions and internalized false confessions.

Voluntary confessions are given with the person's free will and there is no police prompting. This may happen when the suspect has a mental disorder, wants to gain fame, or is trying to protect a loved one. For example, 60 people confessed to the murder of Elizabeth Short.

Compliant false confessions are given if the suspect is feeling threatened, trying to avoid punishment or gain a reward. It can also be done by keeping the suspect in the interrogation room for hours, under a lot of pressure so that they confess just so the interrogation can come to an end.

For example, Jeffrey Mark Deskovic confessed to beating, raping and strangling a classmate after hours of interrogation and got 15 years of incarceration even though the DNA evidence pointed differently.

Out of all these, I think the internalized false confession is the most messed up.

In this, the person confessing comes to believe their confession and see themselves as criminals.

For example, in the case of Billy Wayne Coupe, he was interrogated for so long by police officers suggesting he may have committed the crime that he started believing he'd molested and killed his 12-year-old daughter, Amanda. He even made up the scenario in his head about how it happened with many gruesome details.

I believe there should be a recording of the interrogation where the officer and the suspect can both be seen by the camera. This will make sure that if there is any type of coercion, it will be recorded. The defense attorney can later use this to get justice for his/her client.

There should also be rules about how long an interrogation can be and the suspect should be fed. They shouldn't feel coerced to confess. It would not help with voluntary confessions, but I think the other two could be reduced.

The one thing to remember is if you are ever in a situation where you are taken in for an interrogation, make sure to contact a defense attorney first, even if you are innocent.

Popular Right Now

The Struggles Of Being A Millennial Republican

To us, conservative logic just makes sense.

We are the few, the proud, the Millennial Republicans. Our duty is to make sure the Grand Ol' Party stays alive and thriving, a task we proudly take on. We have forsaken all of the #FeelTheBern hashtags and declined to retweet the selfie of Kim Kardashian with Hillary Clinton. Our refusal to partake in the ideology of our peers does come at a cost by making us the unpopular kids at the political lunch table, a title we are actually okay with. Our "coolness" is a small price to pay to make sure America remains the best country in the world.

The Millennial Conservatives are a rare but amazing group of people who can bridge the gap between generations. Our basic principles still align with those of our parents' and grandparents' while bringing a fresh perspective to the table. To us, the conservative logic just makes sense. This is very clearly not the case for everyone, though. Every argument has been hurled our way for why it is crazy for our generation to vote red, but none have even come to close to convincing us to leave the right wing.

Unfortunately, there are still the daily struggles of being surrounded by democratic peers. These are a few situations which every twenty-something conservative can relate to:

When your liberal professor goes on a rant about the GOP.

Every time you see a Facebook rant about Bernie making everything “free.”

Actually, every time you see anything about #FeelingTheBern.

When you get on Tumblr to look at pictures of cute dogs and are bombarded by anti-Republican posts.

When Hillary Clinton did the "nae nae" so we were supposed to forget about Benghazi.

When people automatically assume you are voting for Donald Trump.

That friend who tells you all about how bad the Republican debates were but didn’t even watch them.

When a Democrat says they are the party that doesn’t judge anyone then calls all Republicans homophobic, sexist and racist.

When you find people your age who share your political stance.

You are a woman, so you must be a Democrat.

When someone tells you that Republicans are just “old, white men.”

When someone tries to convince you to switch parties.

Cover Image Credit: Jeremiah Schultz / Flickr

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.


Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

Related Content

Facebook Comments