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its surrounding areas.

Why would they confess?

People find it difficult to understand how someone could confess to a crime they did not commit. They may believe that the suspect must have "done it," confessed, but on second thought, want to later recant their statement. Some of those people include prosecutors. But, according to a story on 60 Minutes, they would be wrong.

The story comes out of Chicago, which is apparently the "false confession capital" of the United States, and involves juveniles, but these stories could have been from anywhere in the nation. Most people, thankfully, will never sit in a police interrogation room, sometimes for hours, being grilled, over and over about some incident, to the point where they may begin to think they are, in fact, guilty.

"I didn't believe people would confess to rape and murder of a woman. You know, just didn't believe it," former Cook County Prosecutor Bob Milan states on the program. "But based on my experiences, I found it did happen."

The 60 Minutes story focuses on juveniles offenders, some of whom were as young as 14 at the time they were charged with these crimes. Seven men were exonerated on murder and rape charges, but only after some served almost 20 years for crimes they did not commit.

The Innocence Project has document various methods that are used to obtain false confessions. Police use duress and coercion, play on suspect's ignorance of the law and threaten them with harsh sentences. People unfamiliar with interrogations may not fully grasp trouble they may be facing and they misunderstand their situation and the full consequence of a confession.

The simple rule to remember is never speak to the police without an attorney present.

Source: CBS News, "Teens confess to crimes they didn't commit," December 7, 2012

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