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More teens provide false confessions, despite innocence

Police departments across the country arrest teens everyday. These teens might be accused of various crimes, including drug crimes. According to a database on exonerations in the United States, teens are more likely than adults to provide confessions for crimes that they didn't actually commit. A report on the database said that 38 percent of teens who are exonerated of a crime provided false confessions. These confessions are significant parts of many convictions.

Adults who were exonerated only provided false confessions 11 percent of the time. This is because many teens think in the short-term. They might think that if they provide police with words that they think they will want to hear, the teen will be able to go home to their parents.

The truth is many teens who are convicted of charges related to drug crimes often serve sentences and have a record that can make it difficult for them to move forward in life. A teen might try to apply for college, but could be easily denied because of a past conviction.

The consequences of a conviction can extend far beyond a sentence. Speaking with an experienced attorney immediately after an arrest might be a wise decision for adults and teens in Denver. They can help a person understand their rights and work to form a rigorous defense. The attorney can be with a person during police questioning to help ensure no incriminating statements are made. They can also inform the person of their rights and help them understand what a confession can do to their case.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "False Confessions Dog Teens," Zusha Elinson, Sept. 8. 2013

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