California residents who are subject to a law enforcement method of questioning called the Reid Technique might confess even if they are not guilty. Experts say that it can disorient suspects and result in false confessions.
The popular Netflix series "The Making of a Murderer" deals with one such case. A 16-year-old confessed to a woman's murder and was found guilty. However, he had an IQ of around 70 or lower, and he did not appear to understand the implications of his confession. He did not have a false confessions expert testify at his trail, but a man in a similar case in Minnesota did.
In that case, the man was in his 40s, and he confessed to raping and murdering a neighbor. A jury acquitted him. According to one expert, this was an unusual outcome. The man's lawyers have now filed paperwork asking a judge to determine whether the man was legally detained. They say that his rights were violated because he had ineffective legal counsel and did not intend to confess. In both cases, the defendants also lacked knowledge of the cases that the real perpetrator would have known. They only knew details that the police had shared with them.
People who have been charged with a felony may want to discuss with an attorney whether their rights were violated in a similar manner. This might mean that a search was illegal, or that evidence was gathered in some other way that was not legal. They might not have been correctly informed of their rights, and as a result, evidence or an entire case might be dismissed.