Not guilty by reason of youth? Perceptions of coercion in juvenile interrogations
Links to Fileshttp://library.towson.edu/digital/collection/etd/id/67455
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Workapplication/pdf
vi, 70 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Psychology
Adolescents are at an increased risk for false confession compared to adults (e.g., Redlich & Goodman, 2003), yet police interrogate adolescents no differently (e.g., Cleary & Warner, 2016). While confession evidence tends to be highly persuasive to jurors (e.g., Kassin & Sukel, 1997), less is known about how jurors evaluate juvenile interrogations and confessions. In Study 1, undergraduate students read a lengthy or abridged (i.e., confessiononly) transcript of a real-world interrogation in which a suspect (described as either a juvenile or adult) falsely confessed to murder. Although age did not affect perceptions, participants who read the lengthier transcript perceived greater coercion—but also remained confident in the suspect's guilt. In Study 2, jury-eligible adults read the same lengthy or abridged interrogation transcript, either with or without expert testimony on age as a risk factor for false confession. Those who read the lengthier transcript again rated the interrogation as more coercive. Importantly, those who read both the lengthy transcript and expert testimony were least likely to misjudge the suspect as guilty (and vice versa), suggesting that expert testimony, in conjunction with a comprehensive video recording of the suspect's interrogation, may improve jurors’ fact-finding accuracy. Implications for interrogation practices and trial procedure are discussed.