Examining the Reliability of Confessions

Hom, Patricia A.
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Currently, the only requirement for a confession to be admissible into evidence is that the confession is voluntarily provided by the suspect. However, a confession that is voluntary is not necessarily reliable. If a confession is not identified as reliable, one might question whether the confession is true or false. Consequently, if a voluntary test continues to be the only requirement for the admissibility of a confession into evidence, one may also ponder how many false confessions become admissible in court. Due to the severe consequences of wrongful convictions and the influential weight a confession possesses as evidence, this thesis provides an exploratory analysis of Leo’s (2008) reliability test to minimize the admission of false confessions. The analysis corroborates confessions with both dependent and independent evidence (Leo, 2008) and offers insight into the process and importance of examining the reliability of confessions.
Reliability, Reliability test, Confession, False confession, Wrongful convictions
Horn, P. A. (2010). <i>Examining the reliability of confessions</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.