We see it in movies and police dramas all the time: someone confessing to a crime they did not commit in order to protect someone they care about. But while many people believe that no one would ever risk a false confession for someone else’s sake, a case out of another state is proving that it does happen in real life sometimes.
Even though this case happened thousands of miles away from residents here in California, it shows a fact that is universal in every state: few people ever want anything bad to happen to their loved ones. But as this case shows, if a person is forced to make this decision and confess to a crime they did not commit, then their rights have been violated. And as you can imagine, this can have serious consequences down the road.
The out-of-state case started in 2006 when the defendant’s 1-month-old niece was found dead in an Illinois home. According to reports, there was no evidence or any witnesses that linked the then 24-year-old man to the crime. In fact, his 10-year-old niece allegedly admitted that she had caused the infant’s fatal injuries.
But despite these facts, the man admitted to having a part in the infant’s death after police allegedly told him that “if he did not say something, his ten-year-old niece would have [to] be held responsible for [the infant’s] death.”
He was subsequently arrested, charged with murder and spent seven years in jail for a crime he did not commit.
As you can see, taking the fall for someone else can have serious consequences, even if it was done so with the best intentions. But that does not excuse how police got the confession out of the man. By coercing him into confessing, they were violating his civil rights, he claims in the man’s lawsuit. He is now seeking damages with the help of a civil lawsuit.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “Pretrial Detention for Seven Years, & Innocent,” Jack Bouboushian, Aug. 25, 2014