Despite the rising number of confirmed false confession cases, most people have a hard time grasping why someone would confess to a crime they did not commit, or even why a guilty person would admit to something that could put them in jail for life. How the Police Generate False Confessions takes you inside the interrogation room, exposing the tactics that law enforcement uses to make confessions happen. James L. Trainum reveals how innocent people can become suspects and then confessed criminals even when they have not committed a crime. Using real stories, he looks at the inherent coerciveness of the interrogation process and why so many false confessions contain so many of the details that only the true perpetrator would know. More disturbingly, the book examines how these same processes corrupt witness and victim statements, create lying informants and cooperators, and induce innocent people to plead guilty. Trainum also offers recommendations for change in the U.S. by looking at how other countries are changing the process to prevent such miscarriages of justice. The reasons that people falsely confess can be complex and varied; throughout How the Police Generate False Confessions Trainum encourages readers to critically evaluate confessions on their own by gaining a better understanding of the interrogation process.
About the Author
James L. Trainum, a private consultant, retired from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. and was the Violent Crimes Case Review Project Director- Detective from 2000-2010. He was the recipient of the Marymount University Forensic Psychology Program Award in Ethics in Law Enforcement in 2005, and recipient of the 2009 Innocence Network's Champion of Justice Award. Trainum has written several articles on interrogations and the creation of Innocence Commissions, committees designed to review alleged wrongful conviction cases. He has been interviewed on the topic of interrogation and false confessions by The New Yorker, The New York Times, and National Public Radio. Trainum has also been quoted in the American Psychological Associations white paper on the topic of false confessions and in numerous other articles and editorials. He speaks at many conferences and other events to talk about the topic of false confessions and interrogation techniques.