John E. Reid & Associates agree that more is needed than a simple “I did it.”
The reported interrogations of some of these suspects involved physical coercion, duress and outright torture. While the Supreme Court has consistently prohibited such interrogation practices, evidently the trial courts rejected the defendant’s claim that their confession was false. Traditionally, courts have afforded greater credibility to an investigator’s testimony than that of a defendant anxious to escape punishment. However, because future defense claims of improper interrogation practices may be given more credence, investigators and prosecutors should anticipate greater scrutiny by the courts in admitting confession evidence. The once accepted axiom that no innocent person would confess to a crime has proven to be false. Because of this, the prosecution must demonstrate that a confession is, in fact, trustworthy. The most convincing evidence to demonstrate the truthfulness of a confession is corroboration.