Adult and Juvenile Defendants and Confessions

┬áNearly 5 decades ago, the U.S. Supreme Court in Miranda v Arizona explained that police interrogations involve “inherently compelling pressures which work to undermine the individual’s will to resist and to compel him to speak where he would not otherwise do so freely.”

Police officers use what is called the Reid Technique, which teaches a 9-step interrogation (or what they call “an interview”) method to extract confessions. It involves isolating the suspect during which the officer repeatedly challenges claims of innocence by accusing the suspect of lying and exuding confidence in the suspect’s guilt. Then, when the suspect feels trapped, the interrogator offers confession as a way out minimizing the suspected act and indicating benefits of confessing outweighed by the cost of maintaining innocence. It’s a predictable formula.

The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that these tactics can be so psychologically powerful as to elicit false confessions at “a frighteningly high rate.”

Miranda rights only need be advised prior to custodial interrogation. For 5 decades, courts have argued repetitively what is “custody” and what is “interrogation.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized in a case called JDB v North Carolina, that children are much more vulnerable during interrogations. In fact, the Reid Technique supports this position.

If you have thought or heard another say that false-confessions don’t exist or occur, the studies and law are full of well accepted and objectively proven examples to the contrary.

Plus, the Michigan Rules of Evidence permit police officers and others to take the stand and testify to hearsay statements that allegedly come from the defendant. However, there is no requirement to record the interrogations, to obtain sworn statements, or demonstrate to the court the exact questions and tactics employed to elicit the alleged statements, let alone the exact words of the supposed confession.

If you or a loved one is being questioned or asked to come in for an interview, consider taking an attorney to protect your rights.