Today's New York Times takes an in-depth look at the phenomenon of false confessions. The focus is on Eddie Lowery, a man who confessed to rape and was imprisoned for 10 years until DNA evidence proved his innocence. According to a new study, over 40 others confessed to crimes that were later proven false by DNA evidence since 1976. Why do they do it? The study points to interrogation techniques, some malicious others unintentional, that bring innocent suspects to their knees.
Shows the Role of Contamination, writes James Hart at Kansas City's Crime Scene blog: "How does this happen? Well, the study blames 'contamination' -- where police either intentionally or accidentally introduce details about the crime during interrogation. So, when the suspect 'confesses,' their story is more convincing because they can repeat details they've already heard."
- Defendants Feel Absolutely Trapped, notes Ashby Jones at The Wall Street Journal