Pretty frequently, you hear about cops (Chicago or LAPD, for instance) beating confessions out of suspects, and the news stories always seem to assume without question that the motivation is to get a confession.
It doesn't add up to me though. If you're a dirty cop looking to close the case by getting a confession, your options are either:
1) Beat the suspect until he confesses, and then testify at trial that the suspect confessed.
2) Testify at trial that the suspect confessed.
Obviously there's no recording of the interrogation, since otherwise option 1 would be impractical, so there's really no practical reason for the beating most of the time. Either way, the cop comes out and lies about what happened, and the suspect goes to jail.
So is it just pure sadism, beating the hell out of some poor kid for the fun of it? Or does the cop tell himself that the kid wouldn't have confessed if he wasn't guilty, and thus the confession is true and the beating justified punishment?
Either way, I don't think I've seen that explored in news stories, which is funny since the link between the beating and closing the case is not immediately self-evident.