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What is a false confession?

If law enforcement in Georgia accuses you of a crime, you will usually be taken in for interrogation. During this process, law enforcement may use a variety of tactics to get you to confess. They brought you in because they have some suspicion you are guilty. They may or may not have evidence. They probably cannot prove at this point that you did do the crime, but they will say many things to get a confession because a confessions holds up well in court.

According to the Innocence Project, the biggest issue with this is that many of them are false confessions. There are documented cases where people have spent decades in prison because they falsely confessed to a crime. These innocent people had to prove they did not do the crime, which for many took years. For others, they still sit in prison, hoping to get the chance to prove their innocence.

You may wonder why someone would ever confess to a crime that he or she did not commit. What has been found is people may confess to a crime even though they did not do it out of fear or because they do not have the mental reasoning skills to withstand interrogation. In some cases, people confess due to pressure or intimidation from law enforcement.

The best way to prevent false confessions is for law enforcement to record all interrogations in full. Courts also should do their part by not allowing the use of confessions from unrecorded interrogations. This information is for education and is not legal advice.