False Confession Essays
We need to ask at what cost we are willing to limit the ability of police and Crown prosecutors to prosecute criminal suspects.Imagine, for example, the following two systems: (1) Almost no innocent persons are ever convicted, but a very high percentage of recidivist offenders are able to escape conviction, (2) A very high percentage of offenders are caught and brought to justice; however, a small but non-negligible percentage (say 3%) of innocent persons are unjustly caught in the system and thus wrongly punished for crimes they never committed.My basic point is that social justice requires not only that we protect innocent individuals from prosecution, but that we hold guilty persons accountable for their actions.
Although this essay ends up agreeing with the authors, one could have a well-argued paper that disagrees with them.
Even when DNA evidence proved Godschalk could not have been the rapist, the District Attorney of the case refused to release him from prison, stating that I trust my detective and his tape-recorded evidence (Kassin and Gudjonsson, 2005, p. Because of this tendency on the part of jurors and prosecutors, together with the facts listed above regarding the potential for unrestricted interrogations to elicit false confessions, Kassin and Gudjonsson argue for the need to reform police interrogation tactics.
Underlying their argument is the implicit moral principle that social justice requires that we do everything we can to minimize the potential to wrongly convict innocent persons.
While it’s difficult, if not impossible, to determine how many people have been wrongfully convicted in the United States, real-life cases reveal some of the common causes of wrongful conviction.
Along with mistaken eyewitness testimony and flawed forensic science evidence, one leading cause of wrongful conviction is false confessions.