Gudjohnsson - False confessions

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  • Created by: Steff06
  • Created on: 30-05-16 11:13
What 3 distinct types of false confession did Kassin and Wrightsman suggest?
Voluntary confession,coerced compliant confession, coerced internalised confession.
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Describe the voluntary confession
Offered in the absence of any obvious external pressure (purposeful false confession).
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What is the coerced compliant confession?
Elicted by forceful or persistent questioning and where the suspect confesses in order to escape from a stressful situation (know they didn't do it, but confess anyway).
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Describe the coerced internalised confession
Where the person becomes at least temporarily persuaded during interrogation that they did commit the crime they are accused of (start to believe it was them).
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How is this persuasion possible?
Because of the nature of our memories, which are fragile and susceptible to suggestion, especially when we are in a vulnerable state and anxious.
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What was the aim of Gudjohnsson's study into false confessions?
To document the case of the false confessions of a youth who was at the time distressed and susceptible to interrogative pressure.
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Describe the methodology used
A case study
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Who was the participant for the case study into false confession?
A 17-year-old youth accused of 2 murders. Average intelligence, suffered no mental illness and his personality was not obviously abnormal.
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Describe the background to the study of the murders
1987, 2 elderly women were found battered to death in their home. Savings were missing, there was evidence of sexual assault.
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Why was FC arrested a few days later?
Arrested, because of some inconsistencies in his account of his movements during an earlier routine enquiry and he was spending more money than usual. No forensic evidence to link him with the offence.
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What happened after his arrest?
He was denied access to a solicitor and was interviewed at length by the police, leading to his confession.
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What happened the next day and afterwards?
The next day, he repeated this confession in front of a solicitor and later wrote a letter incriminating himself from jail. After a year in jail, he was released after another person pleaded guilty to the crimes.
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Describe FC's first interview
Lasted for nearly 14 hours with breaks. He was questioned by officers. In the start, he denied being near the scene, but after being repeatedly accused of lying he agreed.
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Describe the problems with this interview
Many of the questions were leading and accusatory and many suggested he was sexually impotent, which he found distressing.
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What happened in a second interview the next day?
In front of a duty solicitor, he retracted his statement, only to confess again under pressure about his failure to have unsuccessful relationships with women. There were 3 further interviews.
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Describe results of his psychiatric examination in prison.
Examined by psychiatrists who found no evidence of mental illness but he did score 10 for suggestibility on Gudjohnsson Suggestibility Scale, making him abnormal this way.
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What was his IQ and what did he come out as?
His IQ was 94. Using Eysenck's personality Inventory (EPI), he came out as a stable extrovert.
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What type of false confession is this?
A coerced compliant false confession as he gave in to pressure during the interviews in order to escape from the situation.
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What does this case show?
Shows that this can happen to anyone, not just the mentally ill, handicapped e.t.c.
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What happened following FC's release?
He appeared to undergo a change of personality, his experiences hardened him and his self-confidence improved.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Describe the voluntary confession


Offered in the absence of any obvious external pressure (purposeful false confession).

Card 3


What is the coerced compliant confession?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Describe the coerced internalised confession


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How is this persuasion possible?


Preview of the front of card 5
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