False Confession Essays
The following is a sample of the kind of analytical essay you are being asked to write.
Although this essay ends up agreeing with the authors, one could have a well-argued paper that disagrees with them.
Along with mistaken eyewitness testimony and flawed forensic science evidence, one leading cause of wrongful conviction is false confessions.The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.If you are one of the millions of people who have listened to the podcast “Serial” or watched Netflix’s series “Making a Murderer,” you may believe there are innocent people in prison.While you may think that you personally would never confess to a rape or murder you didn’t commit, research has shown that innocent people are especially vulnerable in an interrogation room. False confession experts Richard Leo and Steven Drizin eloquently explain that there are typically three pathways to a false confession.First, police officers mistakenly conclude that an innocent suspect is guilty.Even when DNA evidence proved Godschalk could not have been the rapist, the District Attorney of the case refused to release him from prison, stating that I trust my detective and his tape-recorded evidence (Kassin and Gudjonsson, 2005, p. Because of this tendency on the part of jurors and prosecutors, together with the facts listed above regarding the potential for unrestricted interrogations to elicit false confessions, Kassin and Gudjonsson argue for the need to reform police interrogation tactics.Underlying their argument is the implicit moral principle that social justice requires that we do everything we can to minimize the potential to wrongly convict innocent persons.But long before the cases of Adnan Syed, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey were brought to the public’s attention, we and other researchers have been hard at work studying how it is that innocent people sometimes go to prison for crimes they did not commit.In fact, a recent report documented that in 2015, there were a record number of exonerations in the United States.Trial jurors, we are told, are inclined to give disproportionate weight to a confessions, even taking it to outweigh so-called hard evidence.As a characteristic example, Kassin and Gudjonsson cite the case of Bruce Godschalk.