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Confessing Their Crime: Factors Influencing the offenders' Decision to Confess to the Police

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Confessing their Crime: Factors Influencing the Offenders' Decision to Confess to the Police

This is a journal article or study as to what drives a criminal to confess to the crime either as committed or a modified charge in some manner. It seems to start off stating that the police as a whole have managed to become better psychologists and they are able to get the confessions to flow from the actual stated criminal. This is buffered of course by the type of crime whether it be violent or non-violent and the criminal status of the charged at the time of arrest, i.e. a first time offender would be more likely to confess to something either not knowing what is transpiring or based on the fact that leniency is generally granted to those with short criminal records.

It then, however goes on to break down some of the empirical data such as demographics civil and parental status and even religious implications. Those that may not speak to the police at the time of questioning may not feel that they are protecting their Constitutional rights but instead violating a covenant farther reaching and lying.

There were five major socio-demographic factors taken into consideration. Age, marital status, parental status, education and ethnicity. Based on the data that was pulled from the demographic and the actual crime this group was able to come up with a formula that would state as to whether or not the offender would serve time and if so how much. Keeping in mind that there are certainly cases of mistaken identity and cases where people confess to crimes that they simply did not commit just for the sole reason of notoriety this article was VERY interesting. Using real data and real people they were able to put together some very solid graphs to back up their findings.

It is always frightening to imagine that a police officer is allowed to play psychologist when they are only trained to ask particular questions. It is equally as interesting to gain insight into the mind of someone who is either a first time offender and afraid for their freedom and family versus a lifetime criminal looking for leniency under a capital murder statute if he turns and provides evidence against someone else. I suppose it is always best to leave the legal system to the professionals and never make any assumptions.



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