False Confessions to Law Enforcement




Leihardt, Carl A.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The criminal justice system today is under fire from many directions in today’s world, from both internal and external forces. Mass and social media has focused in recent years on false confessions given to law enforcement and this focus has influenced the perception the general public has towards the role that the interrogation and confessions plays in the criminal justice system. Police agencies institute policies and procedures on how interrogations should be conducted, yet anomalies do occur. However, compared to the sheer numbers of crimes, violent crimes in particular, that occur each year, the numbers of false confessions are extremely small in comparison. False confessions to law enforcement should not be perceived as commonplace and widespread. Statistics and studies have been done related to the effect that mass and social media have on the opinions that the public has toward law enforcement and criminal justice system topics. Research has also been done to try to determine the frequency of occurrences of false confessions nationwide. In reviewing the studies and research, it is believed that although the public generally believes that false confessions are a widespread problem due to media coverage, they in fact occur quite infrequently.



Police Questioning, Interviewing in Law Enforcement, Self-incrimination