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Topic : 01/09 False Confessions

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Created on : Friday, January 05, 2007, 10:49:03 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Would you ever confess to a crime you didn’t commit? What if the authorities, police you thought you could trust, said that you committed a crime and that they had evidence to prove it? Would you begin to doubt yourself, even though you knew you were innocent? Dr. Phil explores the psychology of false confessions. After a young man was shot dead at a local pizza parlor, Jon, 24, found himself behind bars. He then spent six months in jail before being exonerated from murder charges. Why did he confess to a crime he didn’t commit? What role did the police play in his confession? Learn how the truth finally came out. Then, experts say some ‘fess up for fame, others do so to escape torturous interrogations. No one knows the art of getting confessions better than 29-year veteran New York City Homicide Detective Louis Scarcello. Hear about his interrogations and decide for yourself if the tactics used by law enforcement cross the line into coercion. Then, Marty Tankleff was just 17 when he was convicted of murdering his parents -- based on what he says was a police-coerced false confession. Sixteen years have passed with Marty still behind bars, but the question remains: Did he do it? Share your thoughts here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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January 9, 2007, 7:43 am CST

Good Cop/Bad Cop

I am aware that there are both honest and dis-honest people in every profession including our law enforcement staff. We all know that when we have a bad day our reactions to others are affected, we snap unnecessarily, say things without thinking or react without making sure our brains are engaged. Why then do we assume that police officers are immune to basic human frailties? I'm sure they grow tired of dealing with some of the worst members of society on a regular basis. It would have to impact their attitude and outlook.

Pair this with most people's lack of experience with the law and you have all the ingredients for a false confession. Unfortunately those who regularly flaunt the law, break the law and visit harm upon others are the ones able to hold it together under interrogation. The innocent ones experience an adrenaline rush of fear of the unknown and assume that the truth will prevail.

I would have never thought to warn my children to make sure I am present or that a lawyer is present before speaking to the police. I've always felt safe telling them that the police are our friends. I guess it is like any other street-proofing we do for our kids... trust your gut... don't let anyone do anything to you that makes you feel uncomfortable... tell an adult.... don't be alone. I just never thought my warnings would apply to the police.

It makes me sad.

 
January 9, 2007, 7:51 am CST

False confessions are a very real and serious problem

I have the misfortune of knowing about false confessions and the harm that they do to families and lives. One of the most tragic case of flase confessions is the case of "The Norfolk 4". Where not one but four innocent men went to prison for a rape and murder they did not commit. The actual perpetrator is in prison and has confessed to acting alone, a statement that is confirmed by DNA and physical and forensic evidence. Yet after the actual perpetrator was apprehended the four innocent men, three of whom received two life sentences without parole sit in prison while the "system" in Virginia refuses to admit that there was a mistake made and that a police detective coerced the false confessions.

See www.norfolk4.com for additional information on this horrible travesty of justice in Virginia.

I know because I am Larry Tice, the father of Derek Tice, one of the Norfolk 4.

 
January 9, 2007, 8:15 am CST

Oh, that's not a problem...

Quote From: afraid

not me! try to mentaly abuse me to saying i killed some one when i havent,you my dear will tire long before i will.

The interrogators will work in shifts.  After 5 or 6 days of sleep deprivation, you'll be willing to say anything to make it stop.  And that's assuming they dont get out the thumbscrews.

 

 

 
January 9, 2007, 8:17 am CST

01/09 False Confessions

i put not much messure in the boy claming his father were a hit man, if this were to prove so it would seem he would be in fear of his life to go on the dr phil show and accuse as he has . it would seem vengence is at drive here.
 
January 9, 2007, 8:28 am CST

01/09 False Confessions

evidence to hide ones guilt is often found easier than evidence to prove ones guilt.
 
January 9, 2007, 8:30 am CST

first hand experience

an 'allegation' was made. an 'investigation' supposively took place, although that consisted of only talking to the one making the allegation .  6 months later husband is before a judge, bench trial.  after all the 'evidence' was presented and husband testified the judge made the statement he had no idea "why this man" was charged and ruled "not guilty".  course it didn't get him his kids back.  didn't get him any part of the $50,000 back it cost him.  didn't get him back his pride, reputation.  he lives with this every day of his life!!  the only interactions with any law enforcement officials was to be served with an arrest warrant and threatened.  the first attorney we'd hired didn't care about the charges.  the couple times we talked to him he said "the only question to be answered was how long you'll be going to prison."  thank god we were able to find a real attorney who was concerned with justice.  it's been almost 5 years and we still live with this experience and it still influences many aspects of the life we have tried to go on living. 
 
January 9, 2007, 8:31 am CST

01/09 False Confessions

i agree tis does happen, but i am concerned that there was no mention of all the good work law enforcement does...i n this day and age, it is always someone else's fault and the police are out to get everyone...i totally respect our law enforcement officials and if the evidence does not fit the confession, then the victim is vindicated...
 
January 9, 2007, 8:44 am CST

01/09 False Confessions

Quote From: mejganh

This is a typical story told by people living in "the greatest country of the world", witch is a selfchosen anouncement of course!! We in Europe and all around the rest of the world hear and see stories like this and much worse about Americans on our tv all the time. Does Americans ever think of their reputation in the rest of the world? Or do you all really think that you live in a separate planet? I have a desire to travel all around the world, but the US is hardly my first choise! The biggest problem we are facing with here is a practice of denial and secrecy at an unimaginable high level! There is corruption, segregation, unemployment, poverty, lack of knowledge and more and more and more in the US too just like any other country, but all your polititions, witch you yourselfs have given the power by voting on them, ever care about is weather other countries are "democratic" or not. I think the democraty in the US is just as a big illusion as any of David Copperfields' tricks! And the irony is that you Americans actually wish to force that same illusion you call "democraty" on to other countries!!  

Granted we do have many problems here in the US, but you know when all the other countries need something WE are ALWAYS the very FIRST that is called upon to help. Now if we're such a bad country why is that do you think.????

 
January 9, 2007, 8:49 am CST

Location

Where was the location  the show on 1-9-2007 took place?
 
January 9, 2007, 8:54 am CST

01/09 False Confessions

Quote From: elcid223

I have the misfortune of knowing about false confessions and the harm that they do to families and lives. One of the most tragic case of flase confessions is the case of "The Norfolk 4". Where not one but four innocent men went to prison for a rape and murder they did not commit. The actual perpetrator is in prison and has confessed to acting alone, a statement that is confirmed by DNA and physical and forensic evidence. Yet after the actual perpetrator was apprehended the four innocent men, three of whom received two life sentences without parole sit in prison while the "system" in Virginia refuses to admit that there was a mistake made and that a police detective coerced the false confessions.

See www.norfolk4.com for additional information on this horrible travesty of justice in Virginia.

I know because I am Larry Tice, the father of Derek Tice, one of the Norfolk 4.

Mr. Tice , I'm so very sorry for what you and your family are going through. My son only spent 23 months in prison, but it was very hard for me to see him like that. And he was guilty. I cannot imagine the incredible pain you and your son are feeling. My heart goes out to you and all others who have been falsely  accused.
 
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