December 9th, 2011
Local NPR station WBUR ran a powerful two-part story recently about how false confessions occur. Many people cannot imagine why anyone would admit to committing a crime that they did not commit and in fact, confessions are the single most convincing piece of evidence to a jury, even more so than DNA. What’s frightening then is that in the first 250 DNA exonerations in the United States, 16% of exonerees gave false confessions to crimes that they did not commit and were eventually exonerated for. The WBUR story, and accompanying videos of a young 16-year-old mother who was pressured into falsely confessing to the murder of her baby, demonstrates how false confessions can occur and why they are not the slam dunk evidence they are often thought to be. Learn more about false confessions.