Interviewing suspects

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Mann: Police's ability to detect suspects lies

Aim: To test police officers ability to distinguish between truth and lies durng police interivews with suspects 

Method: field experiment 

Participants: 99 police officers from Kent - a range of departments (detective, traffic officers)

Procedure: P's asked to judge truthfulness of people in real interviews. P's were shown 14 clips that varied in length. P's filled out a questionnaire about their experience detecting lies, then after each clip indicated whether they were telling the truth or lying. They also indicated their confidence levels and listed cues they used to detect lies. 

Results: - No significant difference was found in wether the police were able to identify lies or truths better - Experience positively correlated with accuracy of detecting lies - Most frequently mentioned cue to detect lies was gaze and movement 

Conclusion: Out of all the research conducuted these participants were most accurate. The most experienced officers were better at detecting lies. Attention was often paid attention to cues such as gaze that are not necessarily indicators of lying. 

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Inbau: The Reid 9 steps of interrogation in brief

1. Direct confrontation 

2. Suspect offered the chance to take the blame away by being offered some justifications for what happened 

3. The suspect should never be allowed to deny guilt 

4. Ignore any reasons given by the suspect for why they could not have committed the crime

5. Keey eye contact with the suspect and use first names

6. The suspect will become quite, if the suspect cries, infer guilt

7. Give the suspect two choices what they could do but both admit their guilt

8. Get the suspect to admit guilt in front of a witness

9. Document there confession and make them sign it  

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Gudjohnsson et al: A case of a false confession

Aim: To document a case of a false confession of a young person who was distressed and susceptible to interroative pressure 

Method: Case study

Participants: 17 year old (FC) accused of two murders, average intelligence, no m illness

Background: 2 elderly women murdered - Womens savings missing - Sexual assult - FC was arrested as of inconsistencies in his account and he was spending more money - No forensic evidence that linked him to offence - Denied access to solicitor, when caught. 

The police interview: FC first interview lasted 14 hours - FC denied being near the scene but after being repeatedly accused of lying he agreed - Many questions were leading and accusatory and many suggested he was sexually impotent which he found distressing - The next day he retracted his confession only to confess again later under pressure. 

Psychiatric examination: In prison he was examined and there was no evidence of mental illness, but he was very suggestable. 

Conclusions: This is a case of a coerced compliant false confession 

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