Police-induced confessions: Risk factors and recommendations

Saul M. Kassin, Steven A. Drizin, Thomas Grisso, Gisli H. Gudjonsson, Richard A. Leo, Allison D. Redlich

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    294 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Recent DNA exonerations have shed light on the problem that people sometimes confess to crimes they did not commit. Drawing on police practices, laws concerning the admissibility of confession evidence, core principles of psychology, and forensic studies involving multiple methodologies, this White Paper summarizes what is known about police-induced confessions. In this review, we identify suspect characteristics (e.g., adolescence; intellectual disability; mental illness; and certain personality traits), interrogation tactics (e.g., excessive interrogation time; presentations of false evidence; and minimization), and the phenomenology of innocence (e.g., the tendency to waive Miranda rights) that influence confessions as well as their effects on judges and juries. This article concludes with a strong recommendation for the mandatory electronic recording of interrogations and considers other possibilities for the reform of interrogation practices and the protection of vulnerable suspect populations.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)3-38
    Number of pages36
    JournalLaw and Human Behavior
    Volume34
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

    Keywords

    • Confessions
    • Interrogations
    • Police interviews

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Psychology(all)
    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Law

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