News 09.12.17

New Netflix Series Explores False Confessions

By Innocence Staff

A new Netflix documentary series explores the issue of false confessions by delving into homicide cases in which an innocent person initially took responsibility for the crime.

Season one of The Confession Tapes features six cases in which the defendant falsely confessed after being interrogated, manipulated and threatened by police. Each episode is supplemented by video footage of the interrogations, archival photos and interviews with prosecutors, police, attorneys, family members and experts.

The series tackles the commonly held notion that a person would never confess to a crime he or she did not commit. In fact, 32 percent of people exonerated by DNA evidence in the United States falsely confessed to the crimes for which they were convicted.

The reasons why people falsely confess are complex and varied, but what they tend to have in common is a belief that cooperating with police will be more beneficial than continuing to maintain innocence. Often defendants are told that, in order to avoid a harsh sentence or the death penalty, he or she should confess. In many cases, the defendant is worn down after hours—sometimes days—of questioning, and signs a confession simply to put an end to the interrogations.

Learn more about false confessions here.

Watch The Confession Tapes on Netflix

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  1. Sundee Bourret says:

    I have a very good friend who was sentenced to life in Arizona prison 5 years ago, for a murder he witnessed but did not commit. Due to his poor judgment in being involved with dangerous people he was convinced that his family would be harmed if he did not confess to the murder. The murder of his close friend, i might ad. Is there any hope that he will ever be free?

  2. Billy Bishop says:

    It’s heartbreaking these boys were innocent and have spent 20 years in jail. What can be done ? S

Thanks for your comment

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