Although it is difficult, if not impossible, to estimate the number of false confessions nationwide, a review of one decade’s worth of murder cases in a single Illinois county found 247 instances in which the defendants’ self-incriminating statements were thrown out by the court or found by a jury to be insufficiently convincing for conviction.
The article suggests that low-IQ or drug-addicted suspects are most likely to falsely confess, and offers a number of potential reasons someone might falsely confess to a crime. We’ve reported on false confessions on CogDaily, citing research that demonstrates that even college students are likely to falsely confess, and even to believe their own confession. The Psychology Today article shows how false confessions can and do occur in the real world. It’s well worth reading.
In other news:
- Jonah Lehrer shows how what we want becomes what we need
- The gene for pain perception. If only I could have selectively applied this during the last 2 miles of my half-marathon!
- Is blogging about to peak? It’s been predicted before; presumably at some point one of these predictions will prove to be correct. Tune in 6 months from now for the next one….