It is impossible for most of us to believe that anyone would confess to a crime he or she didn’t commit. And, yet, former convicted felons exonerated by DNA have proven over and over that some people do; in fact, 25% of the exonerees freed with the help of The Innocence Project had confessed to a crime. In this episode of Thread of Evidence, Dr. Iris Blandon-Gitlin talks about the myths and realities of false confessions – who does it, why, and under what circumstances. We also explore steps attorneys and law enforcement officers can take to minimize the risk and make sure that an innocent person does not go to prison and a guilty one does not escape justice.
Iris Blandón-Gitlin, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton. Her professional training and research is in applied cognitive sciences. Her current research focuses on examining social-cognitive factors underlying witness identifications, deception, and confessions. Dr. Blandón-Gitlin has authored and co-authored publications on topics including children’s and adults’ memory suggestibility, police lineup techniques, jurors’ perceptions of police interrogation tactics and confession evidence, face memory, and detecting deception.