It’s no secret law enforcement, with the right tactics, can get an unwitting subject to confess to crimes they didn’t commit.
One of the most recent, and infamous examples, is Brendan Dassey, the teenager at the heart of Netflix’s true crime series “Making a Murderer” who confessed to a crime he didn’t commit after a brutal interrogation.
Criminal defense attorneys consistently tell people they should not speak to police absent presence of counsel. The mantra is simple. “Shut Up. Don’t Talk.” But the human instinct to prove innocence is so strong that people willingly go to police stations and talk up officers in the back of squad cars to insist they didn’t do something.
You don’t need long stretches in an interrogation room, lack of sleep, or a desire for food to get a coerced confession. Simply playing to someone’s sense of shame or guilt can produce a confession, even to murder.
Check out the video below to see how even a nice guy with a blameless history can be pushed to confess to a murder that never happened.
Could you, the nicest of people, resist the same level of suggestion in the same environment? Would you be able to resist the tendency to confess?
This is why you don’t speak to police without a lawyer present.