States Take Action to Stop Police From Lying in Interrogations

 Posted on September 17,2021 in East Hartford criminal defense lawyer

hartford criminal defense lawyerAdvocates for criminal justice reform have called attention to a number of practices by police officers and prosecutors that can result in suspects being wrongfully convicted of criminal charges. The approach that is often taken by police officers when interrogating suspects is one issue that has affected people in many cases. Officers are allowed to lie to suspects and use other deceptive practices during interrogations, and this has led many people to be convicted based on false confessions. Fortunately, some states are beginning to pass laws meant to protect suspects from these techniques.

New Laws Prevent Police From Lying When Interrogating Minors

Since a Supreme Court ruling in 1969, police officers have been legally allowed to lie to suspects during interrogations. This ruling was based on a case where police officers had lied to a suspect, stating that someone else had confessed and implicated him in a crime. The court found that the fact that the officers had lied was not sufficient to make the suspect’s voluntary confession inadmissible. Unfortunately, this opened the door for all manner of deceptive practices by police officers.

Police officers will often approach an interrogation with the presumption that a suspect is guilty, and they will use any practices they feel are necessary to elicit a confession. In many cases, police will lie to suspects about the evidence against a person, falsely claim that other people have made statements implicating them, or imply that a suspect will receive leniency if they cooperate. Interrogations may last for several hours, and officers will attempt to wear down a suspect to the point that they make a false confession simply to get out of the situation. According to the Innocence Project, around 30 percent of cases where people are exonerated after being wrongfully convicted involve false confessions.

Minors are especially susceptible to these techniques since they are less mature, more likely to submit to pressure by authority figures, and less likely to consider the long-term consequences of a false confession. Around 30 percent of criminal convicts who have been exonerated due to DNA evidence were under 18 when they gave false confessions, and 49 percent of these convicts were under the age of 25.

Some states have begun to take action to address this issue. Recently, Illinois and Oregon have passed laws banning the use of practices such as promising leniency or making false claims about evidence when police officers interrogate suspects who are under the age of 18. Other states are considering similar legislation, and advocates believe that these protections should be extended to suspects who are over the age of 18 as well. While Connecticut has not yet taken action to prevent lying by police officers, a law that was passed in 2014 requires video recordings of interrogations in cases where suspects are charged with Class A, Class B, or capital felonies.

Contact Our Connecticut Criminal Defense Attorney

To prevent deceptive or coercive tactics by police officers, it is important for a suspect to be represented by an attorney during an interrogation. The Woolf Law Firm, LLC provides strong representation for those who are facing criminal charges, and we work to protect our clients’ rights at all times. If you have been arrested, we can help you determine the best way to respond to police officers, and we will provide you with the defense you need throughout your case. Contact our Hartford criminal defense lawyer today at 860-290-8690 to arrange a complimentary consultation.


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