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Telling Police What They Want to Hear, Even if It's False
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Confessions; Handicapped people; False arrests & convictions; Mental retardation
Author: Maura Dolan and Evelyn Larrubia
Date: Oct 30, 2004
Start Page: A.1
Section: Main News; Part A; Metro Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

"False confessions are not an anomaly," said [Richard Leo], who has done dozens of studies of interrogations and confessions, including the one with [Steven Drizin]. "They happen with regularity."

"Once the Miranda warnings are given, [detectives] make an immediate accusation that the suspect is guilty," said Drizin, who reviewed dozens of false confessions. "They are allowed to lie at this point."

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department said detectives are required to tape interrogations only in officer- involved shootings or use-of-force investigations that are covered by a consent decree. Yet video or voice recordings of confessions would reduce false admissions by as much as 90%, [Richard Ofshe] said, because it would stop coercive tactics.

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