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Hartford, CT criminal defense attorney for false confessionsThose who are accused of committing crimes will often be unsure about their rights and the procedures followed when they are arrested and questioned by police officers. Unfortunately, this puts many people at a serious disadvantage, and they may say or do things that could be used against them in a criminal case. In far too many cases, police officers manipulate suspects into confessing to crimes that they did not commit, leading to convictions and lengthy prison sentences for those who are innocent. 

It is impossible to know how many people throughout the United States have been convicted based on false confessions. However, The Innocence Project, which has used DNA evidence to exonerate hundreds of people who have been wrongfully convicted, reports that false confessions were a factor in 29% of these cases. Those who are facing criminal charges or accusations will want to be sure to understand their rights and the ways they can avoid incriminating themselves.

Police Officers Are Allowed to Lie to Suspects

In most cases, false confessions occur because police officers mislead suspects or tell outright lies. The “Miranda rights” that protect suspects in the United States allow a person to decline to speak to police officers, while also giving them the right to have an attorney present during an interrogation. However, while police officers are required to inform suspects of these rights, they are not restricted from making misleading or false statements during an interrogation.

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Reid Technique, interrogation, Connecticut Criminal Defense AttorneyIt is known as the Reid Technique, and it is widely used by law enforcement officials to produce a confession from a criminal suspect. The problem is, however, that while the technique may work well in getting a suspect to go along with the interrogator’s version of what took place, the truth is often muddied. In some cases, it can be considered completely irrelevant. So, why do police departments continue to use it and what can you do to avoid being talked into a false confession?

Reid Technique Basics

Unlike more confrontational interrogation methods, the Reid Technique is highly manipulative and relies heavily on human psychology. It begins with a behavior analysis based on a number of non-threatening questions to establish the subject’s baseline when telling the truth. Based on the results of the analysis, interrogators quickly get a sense of whether or not they believe the suspect to be lying about the act in question. At this point, the interrogator will typically leave the room and return in a few minutes an official-looking file.

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