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Mental Health and False Confessions

in Elizabeth Kelley, ed., Representing People With Mental Disabilities (2018 Forthcoming)

Univ. of San Francisco Law Research Paper No. 2017-16

47 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2017 Last revised: 2 Oct 2017

William C. Follette

University of Nevada, Reno

Richard A. Leo

University of San Francisco - School of Law

Deborah Davis

University of Nevada, Reno

Date Written: August 1, 2017

Abstract

This chapter reviews various mental disorders and discusses how the vulnerabilities that are typical of these disorders multiply the effectiveness of the interrogation tactics that produce coerced confessions and increases the risk of eliciting false and unreliable confessions. The chapter also describes how attorneys can use scholarship about false confessions to explain to courts and juries how and why coerced and false confessions occur and their effect in the American criminal justice system.

Keywords: mental health, disability law, criminal law, false confessions, wrongful convictions, criminal procedure, interrogation

Suggested Citation

Follette, William C. and Leo, Richard A. and Davis, Deborah, Mental Health and False Confessions (August 1, 2017). in Elizabeth Kelley, ed., Representing People With Mental Disabilities (2018 Forthcoming); Univ. of San Francisco Law Research Paper No. 2017-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3028918

William Follette

University of Nevada, Reno ( email )

Reno, NV 89557
United States

Richard Leo (Contact Author)

University of San Francisco - School of Law ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

Deborah Davis

University of Nevada, Reno ( email )

Reno, NV 89557
United States

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