www.whyville.net Jan 16, 2008 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Coerced Confessions

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Have you ever heard of a coerced confession? If so, do you actually know what it means? Well, I'm here to explain it to you.

A coerced confession is another name for a false confession. A false confession is when you confess to something you didn't do because police make you feel like you did it. How do they make you feel like you did it? Well, believe it or not, it is legal for police to present a suspect with evidence that is not true during interrogation. Say for example, you are being tried for a case of burglary and the police tell you that they found your footprints in the bank. There is a chance that the "evidence" they claim to have is non-existent. This can make a person feel like they did it in some sort of black out or trance and that since the police have evidence, they have no other choice but to confess.

A popular case dealing with coerced confessions is the Stephanie Crowe case. Stephanie Crowe was murdered in 1998 and the police saw her brother, Michael, as their number one suspect. They told Michael tons of lies and even dragged in two of his friends, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser into the case. Luckily, the false confessions were taped and they found the real murderer, Richard Tuite. (There is also a movie about it, The Interrogation of Michael Crowe)

But what about people who weren't so lucky? That really makes you wonder how many innocent people have been arrested for crimes they didn't do while the real culprit is set free. Think about how many murderers got by without punishment and are walking around today.

I don't think that police should be able to lie about evidence during interrogations. Doesn't anyone care about justice anymore? Hearing about this makes it seem like all police want is a fast answer, and to get off the case as quickly as possible. What do you think?

Off to eat an orange,


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