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Understanding Police Interrogation – Confessions and Consequences - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Understanding Police Interrogation: Confessions and Consequences

William Douglas Woody and Krista D. Forrest


What drives suspects to confess during police interrogation? In particular, why do some people falsely confess to serious crimes, despite both the likelihood of severe negative consequences and their actual innocence? Too often, observers endorse the mistaken belief that only people with severe mental illnesses or cognitive disabilities would confess falsely. This common but erroneous belief overlooks the risks that result from additional factors that can influence the nature of an interrogation and may conduce to a false confession, including investigators’ biases, cultural views about race a ... More

Keywords: interrogation, confession, false confession, police, justice, deception, totality of the circumstances

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781479860371
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479860371.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Douglas Woody, author
University of Northern Colorado

Krista D. Forrest, author
University of Nebraska, Kearney