Most people believe that they can never confess to a crime they did not commit. It is even unthinkable to do this, especially when an offense carries hefty punishment. While false confessions are retractable, once given, they are difficult to ignore. The admissions do not sway the jury that the suspects were coerced to provide information. But under what instance does an innocent person provide false information? This paper explores the possibilities of why a suspect can confess to a crime they did not commit.
One of the significant reasons is vulnerabilities a person may be exposed to during interrogation. Some people are likely to be influenced by the manipulative techniques that investigators use. Some individuals are eager to please and therefore give more information than necessary. Such people are likely to agree with the investigators and change the story after the information turns against them. The other reason has low self-esteem and confidence which can make one give irrelevant details which can be used later against them. Also, fatigue and sleep deprivation can play a role in providing false information.
Another reason is when an individual is under pressure to give information. Such force can come from threats and intimidation from people who are probably more senior than the suspects. Also, some questions can lead to inaccurate accounts. For instance, one can be asked if they saw ‘the’ man instead of ‘a’ man, which can lead to two different reports. Finally, ignorance and lack of understanding may lead one in making false confessions. One might not take the interrogations seriously and might end up giving information that would later be used against them.