Many Kentucky residents may think that a criminal case is straightforward if a person confesses, but experts say that this is not always the case. In certain circumstances, innocent people may be induced to confess to things they had nothing to do with. This is the scenario explored in the popular Netflix series "The Making of a Murderer." In 2011, a man who confessed under similar circumstances was found not guilty. One significant different between his case and the case profiled on the Netflix documentary is that the man found not guilty had testimony from a false confession expert at his trial.
Both men had IQs around 70. Experts also say that they clearly did not understand the consequences of their actions because the man in "The Making of a Murderer" believed that he would be able to return to school after confessing while the other hoped to go on a family camping trip.
The Reid Technique is considered a psychologically powerful one that should only be used when law enforcement is convinced of a person's guilt. In a confession obtained in this way, it is also important to obtain corroborating evidence that only a person involved would have. Neither of the men involved in these cases were able to add any evidence beyond that already shared with them by law enforcement.
Cases like these demonstrate that even when the prosecution appears to have a powerful case, a person can still plead innocent. A person who is facing felony charges may be able to mount a defense even after a confession. Another possibility is that law enforcement violated the defendant's rights. If this occurs, the case might be dismissed. An attorney will suggest the best defense strategy depending on the particular circumstances.