Interviewing Suspects, Making a Case

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  • Created on: 10-03-13 11:06

2.2.1- DETECTING LIES (BACKGROUND)

2.2.1- DETECTING LIES (BACKGROUND)

Lies are difficult to detect, research shows the average person barely does better than chance.

WHAT CAN RESEARCH TELL US ABOUT HOW TO DETECT LIES?

  • individual differences are very important
  • vocal inflation can be vital
  • use your intuition
  • lying places high cognitive demands on an individual (putting them under more pressure can help with detection)
  • micro-expressionssubtle facial expressions which appear when an individual tries to supress an emotion.

Police officers tend to think they are very good at detecting lies, they have police manuals with common cues for indicating lies. Mann et al investigated how good Police Officers actually were at detecting lies.

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2.2.1- DETECTING LIES (MANN ET AL)

2.2.1- DETECTING LIES (MANN ET AL)

Field experiment, to test police officers' ability to distinguish truth and lies during police interviews with suspects. The police watched 14 real video clips of interviews, backed up with evidence indicating whether the suspect was lying or not.

24 females, 75 males.

They were asked to indicate the cues they had used to detect lies.

  • Police officers detected lies 66% 
  • Experience of lie detecting weakly positively correlated with accuracy.
  • Cues: vagueness, gaze, contradictions, fidgeting, movements

There was no control group for comparison as the real suspect interviews were confidential, and using fake interviews would have very low E.V.

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2.2.2. INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES (BACKGROUND)

2.2.2. INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES (BACKGROUND)

Interview: used to get as much truthful information as possible so the correct decisions can be made.

Interrogation: used to get a confession from an accused suspect, the police tell the suspect that they are guilty.

Before an interrogation an interview will have taken place, the interview raised prospect of the suspects guilt. The suspect is usually then left in isolation to increase anxiety before the interrogation.

1984 Police & Criminal Evidence Act (Britain)

  • All interviews must be recorded 3 times, on special machines, 1 copy kept unopened until trial.
  • Suspects cannot be interrogated through the night or threatened.
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INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES (INBAU ET AL)

INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES (INBAU ET AL)

"The belief is that an innocent person would never confess to a crime to a crime they didnt commit..."

1) Direct Confrontation- suspect directly told they have a commited the crime. 2) Chance to Shift Blame- interrogator offers some justification, showing sympathy. 3) Don't Allow Suspect to Deny Guilt- interrupt them if they make denials. 4) Ignore Excuses- after a while the suspect will stop making excuses. 5) Reinforce Sincerity- eye contact, first names, make them feel comfortable to confess. 6) Micro-Signs of guilt- if they cry, infer guilt. 7) Pose the 'Alternative Question'- give two choices, one more socially acceptable, both inferring guilt. 8) Admit Guilt. 9) Document Admission/ Sign Confession- this makes it difficult to withdraw their confession afterwoulds.

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2.2.3 FALSE CONFESSION (BACKGROUND)

2.2.3 FALSE CONFESSION (BACKGROUND)

Kassin & Wrightsman describe 3 types of false confessions:

1) Voluntary Confession: confession is offerened in abscence of any external pressure.

2) Coerced Compliant Confession: elicited by forceful and persistant questionning, the suspect confesses only to escape the stressful situation.

3) Coerced Internalised Confession: the suspect is at least temporarily persuaded during interrogation that they did commit the crime the were accused of. (LOFTUS- COGNITION, reconstructive memory.)

"Interrogative Suggestability"- explains coerced internalised confessions. Some vulnerable suspects: low IQ, low self esteem, naive, anxious, lack assertiveness. Children, elderly.

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2.2.3 FALSE CONFESSION (GUDJONSSON)

2.2.3 FALSE CONFESSION (GUDJONSSON)

Case Study: FC, 17 year old, accused or murder and sexual assault of 2 elderly women. Was arrested due to inconsistencies in accounts of his movements during an earlier enquiry, and was spending more than usual. There was no forensic evidence to link him to the case.

Was refused access to a solicitor and was questionned for 14 hours without a break, he was accused of lying- the questionning was leading and accusatory. This was distressing and he confessed. He then retracted his confession the next day, only to confess again when put under pressure about his failure to have relationships with women.

In prison he was interviewed and assessed by psychiatrists, he has no mental illnesses and an average IQ, but was found to have a high score of the Gudjonsson Suggestability Scale.

After 1 year in jail, another individual pleaded guilty. FC was innocent.

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