Police interrogation, largely based on the Reid technique, is expressly designed to elicit a confession from a suspect -- facts and evidence be damned. Right about now you're probably shouting, "Those coppers'll never get a false confession outta me, see!" But let's hope you never make it out of the 1920s and have to find out just how wrong you are. Because you'll confess all right, and here's how they'll make you do it ...
7They'll Pretend You're Not Being Interrogated
After watching the entirety of The Wire and, well, working at Cracked, we've got a pretty good idea of how the whole "getting arrested" thing works. After roughing you up a little, the police will cuff you and read you your Miranda rights. If you pay close attention to the first three of said rights, you'll know that, so long as the only word you allow to escape your firmly clenched lips is "lawyer," then you've effectively cast a magic spell that protects you from false prosecution. But why would you do that if you're innocent? Unless ... are you some kind of murderer?
Plus it doesn't always work that way. If you're being detained, police are required to read you the Miranda rights before anything you say can be admissible in court, but the key word there is "if." Police officers, as a general rule, are more aware of this requirement than you are, and that's why they'll often avoid detaining a suspect until after they incriminate themselves in an unofficial (yet completely admissible) interview. You're not under arrest; you're free to go at any time. This isn't an interrogation; it's a friendly conversation. And you wouldn't refuse to interact during a friendly conversation, would you? Oh, you would? Why is that? Is it because, um, you're a murderer?
"A killer like you would invoke Sixth Amendment rights as guaranteed by the Constitution."
Even if this "conversation" does morph into an interrogation, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll experience Hollywood's most-echoed monologue firsthand: A study of police interrogations during the '90s found that more than 80 percent of suspects waived their Miranda rights -- just signed their protections away as nonchalantly as you granted Apple your everlasting soul when you accepted the iTunes EULA -- all to avoid making themselves look suspicious. Because those rights are for the guilty, and you're not some kind of murderer, are you?
6They'll Assume You're Guilty
Innocent until proven guilty. It's the single most important tenet of the American justice system. Without it, we'd all be living in Judge Dredd, which is only cool if you're Stallone. You're not. You're Rob Schneider. It's also a damn nigh impossible ideal for a police officer to uphold, considering the fact that the way they're trained to interrogate suspects is effectively forcing them to think that every single suspect is guilty.
"You just 'happen' to exist at the same time as the victim in Earth's billions
of years of history? Seems convenient."
You see, interrogators are trained to use body language like posture, gestures, and eye contact to determine when someone is lying. The problem is that most of the cues that officers are instructed to observe are simply behaviors that people display when they're nervous. They're the types of things you'd do if, say, a police officer were questioning you as a murder suspect. In that situation, you are absolutely going to act nervous. That anxiety tells the police officer you're lying, so he's going to question you even harder. Harder questioning will make you even more nervous, which will in turn make him even more convinced that you're guilty, and so on and so forth in a snowball of bullshit that psychologists have coined the Othello error, named after the way Desdemona's behavior increasingly convinces Othello of her guilt until he finally snaps and murders the shit out of her. Remember, in this analogy, you're Desdemona. Desdemona Schneider.