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Kiddies, confess for the nice officer

Mar. 30, 2000

Many of today’s youth, hardened by early exposure to violent video games, rap music, and Road Runner cartoons, lack a moral compass and are capable of committing blood-curdling assaults. Right?

Well, maybe. But the CLEVELAND FREE TIMES reports that some juveniles have confessed to serious crimes, including murder, only after being subjected to interrogation techniques that psychologists say shouldn’t be used on children. When grilling a suspect, police will lie about evidence they may have found, threaten, ask leading questions, and assure the suspect that a confession is the only way out. That may be the best way to get to the truth when the suspect is an adult who understands the consequences of his or her actions, but with children, say some experts, it’s a different story.

“That kind of leading questioning is absolutely the worst way to get truthful information from children,” says professor and supervising attorney Steven Drizin. One child confessed to a crime, his lawyer says, because he was anxious not to miss a birthday party.

Read the CLEVELAND FREE TIMES story here.

PS

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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