Although there is considerable literature on the causes of false confessions and the effects confession evidence has on juror decision-making, little research has examined attorneys’ decision-making in disputed confession cases. As the intervening step between when the confession is elicited and the case is resolved, it is crucial that research examine effects of confession evidence on this population. The current studies investigate defense attorneys’ knowledge and perception of key interrogation and confession issues as well as their decision-making in a disputed confession case. Overall, results show that defense attorneys are knowledgeable about key interrogation and confession issues and are aware of how powerful confession evidence is at trial. Regarding trial strategies, however, defense attorneys focused more on highlighting the lack of non-confession evidence than discounting the confession. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Cardozo Law Review de·novo
Appleby, Sara C. and McCartin, Hadley R., "Effective Assistance of Counsel? An Empirical Study of Defense Attorneys’ Decision-Making in False-Confession Cases" (2019). Cardozo Law Review de•novo. 69.