Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

First Advisor

Paul Zipper


Forensic interrogation is a vital step in the process of criminal investigations in order to extract information about suspects and the crime at hand. However, tunnel vision, artificial time constraints, lack of thorough training, and noble-cause corruption can influence how an investigator decides to interrogate a suspect or witness. When these influences are exerted on an investigator, the need to secure an arrest and conviction overpowers the need for justice - this results in false confessions and wrongful convictions. This is otherwise known as “the end doesn't justify the means” mindset. This causes investigators to engage in unethical interrogations, whether intentional or not. The ethics of interrogation have long been regarded as a gray area of criminal justice, however, with the rise in public awareness towards false confessions this gray area can no longer be ignored. In this research project, we will explore just what the kinship between the ethics of interrogation and false confessions means for the US criminal justice system, and what can be done to solve this problem.