NY Times Op-Ed: Why Do Innocent People Confess?


It’s tough for most people to swallow, but evidence continues to suggest that otherwise rational and sane people confess to crimes they did NOT commit. This problem was highlighted in an excellent op-ed in The New York Times this weekend.

False confessions have figured in 24 percent of the approximately 289 convictions reversed by DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project. Considering that DNA is available in just a fraction of all crimes, a much larger universe of erroneous convictions — and false confessions — surely exists.

Special thanks to The Advocate, the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy’s online journal, for tipping us off to this great piece. If you’re on Posterous, give those guys a follow. They’re on Facebook and Twitter also and are a great source for justice-related news.

If you want to learn more about the science behind false confessions, please visit the Innocence Project’s excellent resource page. The Innocence Project seeks justice.