CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, August 9, 2010

Garrett on the Substance of False Confessions

Garrett brandon Brandon Garrett (University of Virginia School of Law) has published The Substance of False Confessions at The Legal Workshop. It is based on an article that will appear in the Stanford Law Review. An excerpt:

False confessions uncovered by DNA testing are almost certainly not representative of other false confessions, much less confessions more generally. The 40 cases examined, consisting chiefly of confessions to 1980’s rape-murders, cannot speak to how often people confess falsely. While unusual, only in such examples of known false confessions can one assess whether detailed or supposedly non-public facts contaminated a confession. These data provide a set of examples of a very troubling problem that deserves further study.

The full version of the forthcoming article can be accessed here.

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