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The Champion

December 2007 , Page 22 

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Defending Unrecorded False Confession Cases

By Deja Vishny

Many criminal defense lawyers are filled with dread at the idea of trying a confession case. They think the jury will never accept that people give false confessions. They worry that jurors and courts will always believe the word of detectives over their clients, viewing law enforcement as professionals who are merely doing a difficult job and have no incentive to lie on the stand to gain a conviction. The experience of defense lawyers in motion litigation has taught them that judges rarely, if ever, take the risk of suppressing the confession because the crime is horrifying and highly publicized.

Lawyers who are lucky enough to practice in jurisdictions where interrogations are tape recorded are able to listen to the recording and pinpoint exactly how law enforcement agents are able to get suspects to confess. For everyone else, the process of getting a confession is shrouded in mystery; the police enter a locked room with a suspect who is determined to ma

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