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Can you be pressured into admitting a crime you didn’t do?

The human brain isn’t flawless – there are blind spots in the neural network that can cause people to believe in illusions. While these blind spots can create amazing magical tricks, they may also cause people to create false testimonies. Despite someone knowing they are innocent of a crime, there may be others who believe otherwise or people who don’t care and just want a confession. This could cause people to pressure someone else into not only creating an involuntary confession but believing they had, in fact, committed a crime. How can someone believe they committed someone else's crime? Is it legal to persuade someone into believing and testifying for a crime they had nothing to do with? Here’s what you should know:

False confessions can happen to anyone

There have been studies that show anyone can fall into making false confessions. While no one person may be immune to self-deception, there might be similarities in why people convince themselves they committed a crime:

  • Lies in an interrogation: Investigators may be able to avoid the law by using subtle tactics to force people into making confessions. Law enforcement may lie about events that took place – even when there is no evidence. There may be tactics to guilt to ease someone into confessing to a crime.
  • Avoiding harsher charges: Law enforcement may exaggerate the ramifications of not confessing to a crime. There may be lies that there is overwhelming evidence against someone and avoiding the “truth” will only make charges against them worse.
  • Wanting to stop an interrogation: There’s no telling how long an interrogation can last, especially when officers are dead set on making someone the villain. Interrogations could cause intense pressure and stress. Some people may eventually confess to a crime (that they didn’t do) trying to end the interrogation.

While there may be actions that are legal to get a confession from someone, there are laws that prevent someone from making confessions involuntarily. If you were charged with a crime you didn’t commit, experienced legal guidance is very important – especially if you were pushed into making a false confession.

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