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Series

Criminal Procedure

2018

Duke Law

Confession (Law)

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Honesty Without Truth: Lies, Accuracy, And The Criminal Justice Process, Lisa Kern Griffin Jan 2018

Honesty Without Truth: Lies, Accuracy, And The Criminal Justice Process, Lisa Kern Griffin

Faculty Scholarship

Focusing on “lying” is a natural response to uncertainty but too narrow of a concern. Honesty and truth are not the same thing and conflating them can actually inhibit accuracy. In several settings across investigations and trials, the criminal justice system elevates compliant statements, misguided beliefs, and confident opinions while excluding more complex evidence. Error often results. Some interrogation techniques, for example, privilege cooperation over information. Those interactions can yield incomplete or false statements, confessions, and even guilty pleas. Because of the impeachment rules that purportedly prevent perjury, the most knowledgeable witnesses may be precluded from taking the stand. The ...