Coerced Compliant False Confessions

Coerced-compliant false confessions are typically elicited during persuasive interrogation: the person perceives that there is some immediate instrumental gain from confessing. The suspect does not confess voluntarily but comes to give into the demands and pressures of the interrogators. He or she is fully aware of not having committed the crime of which he or she is accused, and the confession is usually retracted once the immediate threat is gone.

Gudjonsson (52) suggests that the four main types of perceived immediate gain are: being allowed home after confessing, bringing the interview to an end, a means of coping with the demand characteristics (including the perceived pressure) of the situation, and avoidance of being detained in police custody.

In these circumstances, the suspect may be vaguely or fully aware of the consequences of making a false self-incriminating statement, but the perceived immediate gain outweighs, in his or her mind, the potential long-term consequences. These suspects may naively believe that the truth will come out later in court, perpetuating the belief shared by many police officers and legal advisers that what happens in the police station is not really that important.

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