If I'm innocent, why shouldn't I talk to the police?

You have probably heard the advice that you should never, ever speak to police without an attorney. You have no doubt heard a suspect in a cop drama being told that he has the "right to remain silent," and that, "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."  And if you are like most people, you think that this is good advice for guilty people. After all, they wouldn't want to accidentally slip up and confess, or they wouldn't want to unintentionally provide police with the evidence that will ultimately convict them. But what about for innocent people? Would this advice still apply? 
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Infographic: False Confessions

It seems unthinkable that an innocent person would confess to a crime he or she did not commit, but not only does it happen, it is not that unusual. About 30% of DNA exonerations for wrongful convictions include false confessions. Of those cases involving people later found factually innocent of crimes to which they confessed, up to 80% were murder cases. Whether through exhaustion after hours of interrogation, youthful impressionability, fear of getting a harsher sentence if found guilty at trial, or diminished mental capacity, people DO confess to crimes they didn't commit, and studies show it happens more often--and more easily--than you might think. 
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Oklahoma House Passes Bill to Undo the Vote of the People

In November, Oklahoma voters cast their votes in favor of criminal justice reform. More than 830,000 voters--58.23%--voted to pass State Question 780, which reclassified certain drug crimes and property crimes as misdemeanors. Under previous law, a first offense of simple drug possession was a felony. SQ 780 would make it a misdemeanor. 
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OKC Man Guilty in Wife's Murder

An Oklahoma City man who claimed to have accidentally shot his sleeping wife while fighting off an intruder has been found guilty of her murder.  
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Oklahoma Inmates Serving Life for Drugs Hope for Commutation

Oklahoma's drug laws are tough--among the toughest in the nation. And although the federal government called stringent drug penalties "draconian" and backed away from them in recent years, Oklahoma has been slower to move in reducing drug sentences that are typically overkill. 
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Driver Pleads in OSU Homecoming Crash Case

The murder and assault trial of Adacia Avery Chambers, the driver who plowed her car into spectators at the OSU homecoming parade, was expected to begin on Tuesday of this week. Instead, the case was resolved prior to trial when the young woman entered a plea of no contest to the charges against her.  
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City Becomes First in Nation to Add Behavioral Health Center to Jail

We have written extensively about the intersection of criminal justice and mental health, and how when the two collide, often the results are poor for everyone involved. Many times, those arrested for misdemeanor offenses are not "criminals" in the traditional sense, but they are suffering from mental illness, and treatment would be infinitely more productive than incarceration. 
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