Quite a few years ago, a 14-year-old girl was raped and murdered by a defendant and five men known as The Dixmoor Five were wrongfully charged for the murder. DNA evidence would eventually prove their case; however, until then, they lived in fear with the fact that they would be spending a total of 95 years behind bars. Why? The defendants were coerced to give confessions even though they did not commit the crime.
Unfortunately, research has shown that more than 1 out of 4 people have been wrongfully convicted but luckily they are later exonerated due to the emergence of DNA evidence. Innocent people tend to confess to crimes because they believe that they must comply with the police because it will be more beneficial to them and that maintaining their innocence will bring the worst outcome. Coercion is a huge problem from a legal standpoint, along with duress, diminished capacity, and so much more. Many people are finding that confessions can sometimes be widely unreliable, especially those by juveniles.
What the Fifth Amendment Says
The Fifth Amendment states that suspects cannot be forced to incriminate themselves. Along with this, the Fourteenth Amendment says that police officers are not allowed to coerce. This means that, if you have been coerced into confessing to a crime you did not actually commit, this confession will not be admissible against defendants in a criminal case. In some cases, law enforcement will go to great extents to use tactics that undermine the suspect’s ability to exercise free will and make a confession decision by themselves. In many of these cases, the police officer will continue to interrogate the defendant even though they have requested an attorney.
Having an attorney on your side can be useful if you feel as if you have been coerced. The outcome of your case could be detrimental if you are convicted of a crime you did not commit. You could spend years behind bars for a serious crime. We will help you prevent this by working tediously on your case from start to finish. Call us today for more information.