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Study Suggests Sleep Deprivation Can Lead To False Confessions

It's illegal to interview anyone who hasn't had eight hours sleep in the last 24.

If you find yourself in trouble with the police for whatever reason, remember that it is illegal here in the UK for the police to interview anyone who hasn't had eight hours sleep in the last 24, unless in the case of an emergency.

This is because it's possible that sleep deprivation could lead to a false confession, the conclusion of a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, New Scientist reports. It may come as a surprise to some that false confessions actually happen relatively often - which is why this study may be so very important.

The study itself involved 88 people completing a number of computer tasks in a fake experiment, then either sleeping for eight hours or staying up all night. The following morning, the participants were accused of losing all the data because they pressed Escape, which they had been warned repeatedly against doing.

Upon being asked to sign a statement admitting guilt, half of those with sleep deprivation complied, compared with 18 per cent of those who'd enjoyed a good night's sleep.

One of the authors of the study, Elizabeth Loftus of the University of California, Irvine, said: "It's not as awful as confessing to murder but some of these people feel really bad - they think the experiment is ruined."

If you need the help of criminal defence lawyers in Manchester, call us here at QualitySolicitors Belshaws. We have an experienced team of solicitors waiting to help you, no matter what kind of trouble you find yourself in.

Posted in: Criminal defence

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