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Flawed Convictions"Shaken Baby Syndrome" and the Inertia of Injustice$
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Deborah Tuerkheimer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199913633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199913633.001.0001

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(p.97) 6 Confessions
Flawed Convictions

Deborah Tuerkheimer

Oxford University Press

Using confessions to establish the validity of a medical diagnosis raises serious concerns. First, statements framed by doctors and prosecutors as confessions may not actually be confessions. Second, many interrogations of SBS suspects take place under conditions that have been shown—consistently—to bring about untrue admissions of guilt. This chapter considers each of these limitations in turn, explaining the significance of “situational” and “dispositional” variables characteristically found in the SBS interrogation room, as well as how these factors correlate with false confessions. The chapter then describes the unfolding of actual interrogations through the use of session transcripts.

Keywords:   confession, interrogation, situational variables, dispositional variables, false confession

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