Most people at some point in their lives have seen the stereotypical police interrogation scene from a crime investigation show.
There is the good cop/bad cop routine, and after some pushing and accusations from the police, the accused finally breaks down and admits their guilt.
Case closed, everyone goes home happy, and justice is served.
In reality, this is not always the case.
On Nov. 12, Freddie Cox of New York City was released from prison on parole after serving 28 years for a murder he did not commit, according to the New York Times.
Cox stated that he had only admitted to the murder because of pressure from the police.
According to the New York Times, Cox’s lawyer said one reason the police had coerced him into a confession is because he was already guilty in their eyes.
This was because a faulty eye-witness had placed him at the crime scene. It was also because of some circumstantial evidence.
There are several cases of police pressuring people into false confessions. One even occurred here in Idaho.
Christopher Tapp of Idaho Falls is currently serving a 25-year-to-life prison sentence after confessing to rape and murder, but according to Local News 8, his lawyer alleges the confession was coerced and meritless.
According to News 8, Tapp’s lawyer said Tapp was interrogated nine different times for a total of around 20 hours. The Judges For Justice, an organization dedicated to investigating wrongful convictions, reported the interrogations were filled with threats and promises of immunity.
These are probably just some of the many cases where this has occurred.
A confession should not be the be-all and end-all of a case and should not guarantee guilt for the police.
There are so many variables that go into a confession. Just like Cox, some have felt pressured into a confession. Or there are some who think if they just confess, the police may just give them a minor sentence.
There are some that might even feel that no matter what they do, no one will believe their innocence.
There needs to be more than a confession that goes into a conviction.
Credible witnesses, DNA evidence, video and other technologies can be used to guarantee that they are not wrongfully accusing anyone.
When it comes to someone’s innocence, there should be no excuses for cutting corners or taking the easy way out.
A person’s life could hang on the line, whether it be that of the accused or the victim of the crime whose perpetrator might still be out there.