Laura Nirider, Deborah Davis & Richard A. Leo
No rational person would confess to a crime he did not commit, absent torture, mental illness or weakness, right? Wrong. Just in recent years, more than 500 people have provided proven false confessions–most of these in homicide and rape cases–and nearly all were obtained solely via psychological (as opposed to physical) coercion.
In order to help legal professionals and proffered experts discern a valid confession from a false, manipulated one, this chapter on Interrogative Susceptibility guides the reader through the social scientific literature, identifies common tactics used to inhibit expert testimony challenging the validity of a confession and provides sample voir dire questions of experts. Particular topics include:
Qualifications of an interrogative suggestibility forensic expert
Choosing a qualified expert
Inability of jurors to properly value coercive interrogation tactics
Inability of jurors to properly value suspect suggestibility and vulnerability
Common challenges to the admission of expert testimony and how to rebut them
Understanding the need for expertise in interrogations and confessions
The fallacy of “common knowledge” regarding false confessions
Information not provided to the jury absent expertise
Inability of other safeguards, such as cross examination, jury instructions and Miranda warnings, to mitigate false confessions
With a thorough literature review and numerous citations to cases involving false confessions, the Interrogative Susceptibility chapter is an invaluable resource for litigators, judges and experts when faced with the possibility of a coerced confession.
Copyright © 2023 Litigator's Handbook - All Rights Reserved.