On television, the interrogation room is an intimidating small room where the suspect is often subjected to taunting and physical abuse by police officers. Unfortunately, this abuse of power is not purely fiction, throughout the country people are still driven to self-incrimination.
The all too familiar good-cop bad-cop scenarios actually do happen outside of movie sets; one officer may use violence or threats while another may act sympathetic towards the suspect, convincing them that a confession will lead to lenient sentencing.
People with lower IQs or those with psychological disabilities can be more susceptible to false confessions even though they are innocent. Some police officers may lie about having sufficient evidence to convict them, even when they may not have any at all.
Even if the person is fairly stable with an average IQ, interrogators can sometimes keep suspects inside the interrogation room for hours upon hours, until they reach a breaking point where all they want to do is go home. The defendant may start to doubt his or her memory, especially if drugs or alcohol were involved. Police may then proceed to fill in these memory gaps with incriminating evidence, filling these suspects with enormous guilt and the acceptance that they had perpetrated the crime.
Even though DNA evidence serves an important role in determining the perpetrator of a crime, confessions can be more convincing, even if it is a false confession. According to the Innocence Project, 25 percent of prisoners were convicted of their own confessions. Using DNA evidence, 300 people were freed by the organization’s team of lawyers, psychologists, and criminologists to provide ample proof of wrongful self-incrimination
There has been a push to use surveillance in these interrogation rooms for the entire duration of the process, but progress is slow. If you are a suspect in a crime, make sure to contact an aggressive and thorough attorney to help you through this difficult time. There is no need to become a victim of threatening or coercion from law enforcement. Get the justice you deserve.