The true definition of con·fes·sion is: Noun. A formal statement admitting that one is guilty of a crime.
The truth is Eugene did not confess. But he did make incriminating statements after many hours of interrogation.
The truth us that the police, media, and prosecuters led all of Alaska to believe in those first days that he had confessed.
The truth is that the issue of false confessions is one of the hardest elements of this case for most people to understand, but we are not going to avoid it. We are going to address it right away.
The truth is, the average Native kid from Interior Alaska, especially before this case, had no idea that the police can lie to you. We were raised to believe that police should be honest.
The truth is, the police can tell some pretty compelling lies. They can, for example, tell a drunk seventeen year old who was blacked-out drunk for half the night that there is blood on his shoes. That his friends say he kicked someone. Lies that are hard to imagine. The truth is that they can use lies like weapons, to take someone’s mind apart.
The truth is, they did that to Eugene. It took over eleven hours.
The truth is, eventually, he fell for it.
The truth is, the interrogation technique the FPD used on Eugene is not used anymore, because it turns out it is a good way to trick someone, but not a good way to find out the truth.
The truth is that more than two-thirds of the DNA-cleared homicide cases documented by the National Innocence Project were caused by false confessions.
The truth is that 93% of false confessors are men. 65% are under 25 years of age.
The truth is, multiple false confessions to the same crime were obtained in 30% of the cases, wherein one false confession was used to prompt others.
The truth is, the majority of people polled believe that a person would “never” or “almost never” confess to a crime they had not committed.
The truth is, most of us are blessed enough to have never had our psyche tested to that point. We are lucky that we do not know firsthand what it feels like to be interrogated for murder, and in reality we do not know how we would respond.
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE, JUST LOOK FOR IT.
READ EUGENE’S INTERROGATION HERE. For most of the interview, Eugene thinks they are trying to bust him for hooking a friend with weed, and doesn’t actually know what they are questioning him about. Remember that the “evidence” the police are citing is fictional, that Eugene is extremely intoxicated, and scared. Do your best to put yourself in HIS shoes.
READ WHAT EXPERTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FALSE CONFESSIONS HERE, HERE, and HERE, in their sites dedicated to the topic. Also, read HERE in Scientific American, HERE in the Economist, or HERE in the Huffington Post.
If that is not enough, Google it. Look it up on Wikipedia. Look anywhere – what you will find is the suprising truth about lies. Stay tuned to hear what Eugene himself has to say about the experience.