inherent coercion

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Procedural Law 

Inherent coercion refers to the psychological pressure that may be exerted on a suspect during a police interrogation, even in the absence of physical force or threats.

It includes various tactics that police may use to persuade a suspect to confess, such as making false promises, suggesting that cooperation will lead to a lighter sentence, or implying that refusal to cooperate will lead to harsher treatment.

Unlike physical coercion, inherent coercion is often subtle and may not be immediately apparent to the suspect, making it difficult to resist. This can lead to false confessions, where an innocent person confesses to a crime they did not commit due to the pressure of the interrogation.

Courts have recognized that inherent coercion can violate a suspect’s constitutional rights, particularly if it results in a false confession. As a result, courts have established guidelines for police interrogations, such as informing suspects of their Miranda rights and avoiding tactics likely to produce false confessions.


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Last Modified: 03/09/2023


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