Why are detectives so good at obtaining confessions?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2022 | Criminal justice |

To secure convictions, prosecutors typically must prove each element of a criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high legal standard that helps to ensure innocent people do not end up in jail. As you probably know, though, innocent individuals go to prison all the time.

Alarmingly, innocent individuals also confess to crimes they did not commit. This is because most detectives are strikingly good at obtaining confessions. Confessions, of course, are often about the best evidence prosecutors can hope to get.

The Reid interrogation technique

Many members of law enforcement receive extensive training on the Reid interrogation technique. You have probably seen this technique play out on television with the good-cop-bad-cop routine. Essentially, the goal of the Reid technique is to make criminal suspects feel so uncomfortable they are willing to confess to end the interrogation.

The ability to lie

It may come as a surprise to you to know that officers can lie to suspects about virtually anything, including the evidence they have. This can be problematic, as suspects may confess to trying to minimize the criminal consequences they are likely to face.

Your legal rights

Before detectives conduct custodial interrogation of you, they must inform you of your Miranda rights. According to the U.S. Courts, these rights are both fundamental and valuable. If you are looking for ways to level the playing field when interacting with members of law enforcement, it is advisable to exercise your rights.

Ultimately, simply by remaining silent and asking for a lawyer, you may keep yourself from inadvertently confessing to a crime or otherwise incriminating yourself.