The presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of the U.S. criminal justice system. It dictates that a person should not be presumed guilty merely because he or she has been accused of a crime. However, that protection serves no purpose in cases where a confession has been coaxed out of someone during an interrogation even though the individual knows he or she did not commit the crime.
It is unfathomable to most people who have not been subjected to a police interrogation why anyone would admit to a crime they did not commit. But the statistics on false confessions are alarming. According to the Innocence Project, more than one out of four people wrongfully convicted but later exonerated by DNA evidence made a false confession or incriminating statement.