Assignment 1: Interrogation
You watch the process of interrogation conducted by a police department. All interrogations are videotaped. However, you are bothered that during some interrogations, suspects are presented with concoctive evidence as a basis for dealing with resistance and denial. But one of the district attorneys assures you that this is legal.
You watch one interrogation of a rape and murder suspect. After the initial interrogation, he is told that he is a suspect in a rape and murder case and that the police have an eyewitness who places him near the scene. (This is true.) The suspect is “Mirandized.” He waives his right to counsel by saying, “I didn’t do anything.” The officers ask him if he wants an attorney, and he says he does not. They show him many pictures of the crime scene and the victim and ask him what he was thinking about when he committed the crime. When the officers ask where he put the knife he used to commit the crime, he says, “I don’t remember.” Whenever he says he does not remember, they ask him to imagine what he must have done. After six hours of interrogation, he confesses to having committed the crime. He says, “I must have done it.” A confession is typed up, and he signs it. He is jailed with no option for bail.
In a minimum of 300 words, compare the interrogation techniques used by the officers with the standard professional practices of interrogators as described in your textbook.
In addition, with respect to the professional practices of interrogators, comment on the following:
Signs of submission—when the suspect is ready to admit.
The movement from submission to admission.
Acceptance of accusation or assumptive questions and the development of admission.
Steps to be performed after admission—the use of polygraph and collateral information to develop knowledge about the case being investigated.
The process of closing the interrogation in a professional manner.
By the due date assigned, post your responses to this Discussion Area.
Through the end of the module, respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts. Taking the viewpoint from the writings of Saul Kassin, a professor of psychology and a pioneer in the study of false confessions, or from any other scientific literature, exchange counterarguments on why or why not there is a significant risk to induce a false confession in the manner in which interrogation was conducted.