Larry P. McDougal
Larry P. McDougal - Attorney at Law
Richmond, Texas
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June 2014 Archives

Juveniles give false confessions more often than adults

In Texas and other states across the country, police officers use the same techniques for interrogation on both juveniles and adults. However, a new study has revealed that teenagers and children are more likely to give false confessions than adults. Research shows that the younger a juvenile is, the more likely they are, while under pressure, to confess to something they did not do. Among 12- to 15-year-olds accused of a juvenile crime, 69 percent gave false confessions to rapes and homicides. Juveniles are generally more vulnerable to intimidation and the power of suggestion than adults. In addition, they are prone to choosing a short-term gain, such as ending an interrogation, over a long-term consequence, such as facing a jail sentence for a false confession. For this reason, it makes sense for police officers to use different interrogation techniques with children and teenagers than with adults. One psychology graduate student surveyed 178 law enforcement officers regarding the training they receive and their interrogation techniques. He discovered that almost all of the surveyed officers reported using the same interrogation techniques for adults and minors. Furthermore, he found that only around 20 percent of officers receive any instruction regarding adolescent development.American Psychologist published an article in 2006 that cited a review of exonerations that took place between 1989 and 2004. The review discovered that the rate of adult exonerations involving false confessions was 13 percent, compared to 42 percent among juvenile exonerations.One way for a defendant to avoid giving a false confession is to invoke his or her right to legal representation. A criminal defense lawyer may monitor an interrogation and instruct the defendant regarding which questions to answer and how to best answer them.

Tattoos take on new meaning for prosecutors

It is likely that many people reading this right now have tattoos. They are a popular way that people from all backgrounds choose to express things in a permanent manner. Whether it is to commemorate a major event such as the birth of a child or to remember someone who has died, the story and meaning behind each tattoo varies depending on the person sporting it.

Woman who pled guilty to animal cruelty sentenced to 10 years

Readers are likely well aware that serious penalties accompany a conviction for taking the life of another person. Depending on the circumstances someone may spend a long period of time behind bars. This loss of freedom can profoundly impact the life of a person even if, or when, they do get out, as convicted felons often have a hard time assimilating back into society. Individuals reading this post may be surprised to learn that similar consequences could occur as a result of an animal cruelty conviction.

Domestic violence accusations can lead to job suspensions

Domestic violence is one of those crimes that carry with it a number of consequences. For those living in Texas who are in certain fields, such as medicine, law enforcement, counseling or teaching, any type of domestic violence incident can put the person at risk of disciplinary proceedings from their place of employment. This means that not only does the accused have to worry about the next steps in their criminal case, but there is also the fear of losing their job.

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