From a linguistic perspective, this book is a practical explanation of how confessions work. Roger Shuy, author of the 1993 benchmark work, Language Crimes, examines criminal confessions, the interrogations that elicit confessions, and the deceptive language that plays a role in the actual confession. He presents transcripts from numerous interrogations and analyzes how language is used, how constitutional rights are not protected, and discusses consistency, truthfulness, suggestibility, and written and unvalidated confessions. He also provides specific advice about how to conduct interrogations that will yield credible evidence.
Chapter 6: Language of the Implicational Confession
People confess for a number of reasons. Some confess because it expunges their guilt over doing a bad thing. Others confess because it makes them feel important to have done such a monstrous thing. Still others confess to small things to throw off their interrogators about the really big things. Perhaps most troublesome of all, however, are the persons who confess to a crime to implicate others in the same violation. Their reasons for doing this vary: They may simply want to get even with the persons they implicate even though confessions of their own part in the crime could send them to prison. Usually in such cases, what the confessors admit to is much less ...