Scott W. Howe

Publication Date



The law governing police interrogation provides perverse incentives. For criminal suspects, the law rewards obstruction and concealment. For police officers, it honors deceit and psychological aggression. For the courts and the rest of us, it encourages blindness and rationalization. This Article contends that the law could help foster better behaviors. The law could incentivize criminals to confess without police trickery and oppression. It could motivate police officers involved in obtaining suspect statements to avoid chicanery and duress. And, it could summon courts and the rest of us to speak more truthfully about whether suspect admissions are the product of informed, intelligent, and voluntary decisions. States could promote these outcomes by providing valuable sentencing concessions to those who confess.