It is a misconception that if a person confesses to a crime, he or she is guilty. The court has acquitted more than 300 men and women over the last 60 years of crimes they initially confessed to committing.
When you first face accusations of a crime, your first instinct may be to deny it. However, interrogation tactics and other factors could lead you to make a false confession.
Police intimidation is one of the most common factors behind a false confession. When you face police interrogation, it is normal to feel intimidated. Officers can claim that they have evidence against you or that you will face a harsher sentence if you do not confess. You may feel you have no way out, expect to confess to the crime.
Additionally, police may raise their voice, threaten physical violence or emotionally intimidate you until you provide them with the answers they want.
When you face arrest for a crime, it is natural to have an emotional reaction. Police can hold people in interrogation for hours, wearing them down emotionally until they break down and confess, thinking that they may go home or at the very least, they can end the interrogation. Fear and anxiety can make you feel confused and disoriented. An officer could manipulate you into thinking you did something wrong but cannot remember it.
Officers cannot use threats of harm or physical violence to coerce your confession. If you confess to a crime you did not commit, you can take it back.