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Exam 2 Study Guide: Legal Psychology

by: Fiaza Ahmed

Exam 2 Study Guide: Legal Psychology SOP 4842

Marketplace > Florida International University > Psychlogy > SOP 4842 > Exam 2 Study Guide Legal Psychology
Fiaza Ahmed
GPA 3.7

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About this Document

Lie detection, Children and the Law, Criminal Profiling, interrogations and False Confessions
Legal Psychology
Lindsay Malloy
Study Guide
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Fiaza Ahmed on Monday March 7, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SOP 4842 at Florida International University taught by Lindsay Malloy in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 150 views. For similar materials see Legal Psychology in Psychlogy at Florida International University.


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Date Created: 03/07/16
Children and the Law NICHD protocol: • Designed to translate professional recommendations into operational guidelines • Structured approach involving several phases 1. Introductory: • Interviewer introduces him/herself • Clarifies the child’s task • To tell the truth • To describe events in detail • Explains basic ground rules • Child as “expert” • Child can and should say “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand” • Truth/lie ceremony • If I said that my shoes were red, would that be the truth or a lie? 2. Rapport Building:  Goal is to create a relaxed, supportive atmosphere  Get to know” the child  “Tell me about things you like to do/don’t like to do” 3. Practice Narrative:  Tell me about [your birthday, last day of school, trip to Disney, etc]  Continues to build rapport by having children describe neutral events  Children learn the level of detail expected of them and practice providing narratives to open-ended questions  Interviewer practices asking open-ended questions *Specific events (past-tense) by doing this you get more details from kids, it is more effective but its hard to convince interviewers 4. Transition:  Neutral, non-suggestive attempts (increasingly specific)  “Tell me why you are here today”  “I heard that you saw a policeman last week. Tell me what you talked about with him.”  “As I told you, my job is to talk to kids and find out about things that might have happened. Its important that I understand why you are here.”  I understand someone may be hurting you. Tell me about that 5. Substantive  Kids need more structure and scaffolding  Who what where when why (direct questions)  You don’t want to introduce new details NICHD protocol (Questions) • Asked only IF necessary….IF crucial details are still missing from children’s reports • Limit the responses that children can provide – Yes/No – Forced choice (e.g., Was that over or under your clothes?) Avoid suggestive Questions: • Introduction of new material • Tag questions – He hurt you, didn’t he? – That was scary, wasn’t it? • Suppositional questions (assume/”suppose” something happened) – When he touched you, where were you? Children and CCTV testimony: • Child’s testimony is given in a separate room and broadcast live to the courtroom • Does allow for cross-examination • Maryland v. Craig, 1990: Allowable if a child is likely to experience “significant emotional trauma” by being in the presence of the defendant – How to judge “significant emotional trauma”? – Rarely used in the US (because of confrontational clause) – Confrontation Clause of the 6 th Amendment of the US Constitution – "in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right… to be confronted with the witnesses against him" • Children give more accurate testimony • Reduces children’s stress/anxiety – Children appear more confident, consistent • Doesn’t affect conviction rates/perceptions of the defendant BUT children are seen as less credible Hearsay Testimony: • Testifying about what someone else said outside court • Usually inadmissible – but most states have allowed exceptions when it comes to children • Does not allow for cross-examination • May be inaccurate Interrogations and Confessions Evolution of interrogation techniques: • Prior to 1930 • Use of direct physical violence • Report on Lawlessness and Law Enforcement 1931 • Led to covert forms of abuse that did not leave physical evidence • Since 1961 – confessions generally ruled inadmissible if result of physical force, sleep/food deprivation, isolation, explicit threats of violence/promises of leniency/immunity • Miranda Rights 1966 • Right to remain silent and request attorney • 80% of suspects waive rights and subject to interrogation Modern interrogation: Mostly psychological- (e.g., good cop/bad cop) Reid Technique – Trained more than 500,000 individuals 9 step technique based on 4 influence strategies:  Loss of control: Small sparse room. Interrogator is in control. “Tightly controlled, psychologically disorienting situation in which the normal rules of social interaction no longer apply • Social isolation: Interrogated alone. Deprive suspect of emotional support Minimize contradictions of interrogator’s statements. Suspect has no other way to find out the strength of their case – have to take interrogator’s word. “Carefully constructed, somewhat surreal environment • Certainty of guilt: Direct accusation = Step 1. Interrogator challenges, cuts off, dismisses all denials. Evidence ploys • Exculpatory scenarios: Minimize the seriousness of the crime / sympathize with the suspect. Provide excuses/justifications. Imply leniency (but don’t say it explicitly). Shift blame to another person or set of circumstances. Redefine the act itself. Suspects are given two choices – both involve admitting guilt Why confessions are so powerful Kassin & Neumann, 1997 • Mock jurors read trial summaries (theft, assault, rape, murder) • Weak circumstantial evidence PLUS either ­ Confession ­ Eyewitness ID ­ Character witness testimony • 73% conviction with confession vs. 59% with eyewitness testimony (which we know is also very persuasive) Hasel & Kassin, 2009: Is evidence really independent? • Witness staged theft of a laptop and make an eyewitness ID • Return 2 days later – told that certain lineup members had confessed or denied during interrogation • 61% of people who made an ID changed their identifications if told that a different person had confessed • 50% who hadn’t made an ID chose the confessor • “Potentially exculpatory evidence is corrupted by a confession itself.” • Confessions can corrupt other evidence Maximization Vs. Minimization • Maximization • Tactics intended to convey suspect’s guilt and consequences of not confessing • Minimization • Tactics designed to justify/normalize the crime and reduce its seriousness False Confessions: • A major contributor to wrongful convictions • In 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or pled guilty • “Tip of the iceberg” Types of False Confessions: • Instrumental-Coerced • long intense interrogation; confess to stop interrogation • Instrumental-Voluntary • confesses to achieve goal (e.g., fame) • Authentic-Coerced • long intense interrogation; suspect convinced they committed crime • Authentic-Voluntary • confesses because of mental illness Risk Factors for False Confessions: Dispositional Situational • Youth • Excessive time • Mental illness • False evidence ploys • Intellectual impairments • Minimization techniques (low IQ) that imply leniency • Some personality traits Potential Solutions to False Confessions: • Video Recording: Creates permanent record. Improves interrogation methods. • However, it can be manipulated….interrogation only partially recorded. Recording admission and not interrogation. Only show certain segments at trial. Manipulation of camera angle. “equal focus” camera perspective should be used • Time Limits on Interrogation: Lengthy interrogations common in false confessions. Four hours or less is recommended • “Appropriate Adult” Safeguard for Vulnerable Suspects • Expert Testimony: Expert testimony needed for disputed confessions. Expert testimony provides research on false confessions Lie Detection: Types of Lies: Commission • Saying things that are not true • Omission • Leaving out things that are true Antisocial • To protect or benefit the self Prosocial • To protect or benefit others Kassin et al., 2005 – I’d know a false confession if I saw one • Prison inmates gave true and false confessions on video • Police detectives and college students judged the truthfulness of the confessions • Who does better? • College student accuracy: • Police accuracy: • Police demonstrated a bias toward ? • This bias increased with interrogation training and job experience. Human beings as lie detectors: Bond & DePaulo, 2006: 384 studies testing the lie-detecting abilities of 24,000 people • Overall rate of accuracy = 54% • Bottom line: We are barely above chance levels! • But….Police estimate that they can detect lies with an accuracy of 77% The legal system places great value in: ­ Jurors’ ability to detect lying witnesses ­ Interrogators’ ability to detect lying suspects Lie Detection Methods: • Lie detection device • Theory behind polygraph: Lying will cause physiological changes/arousal • Controversial technique with a controversial history • Still routinely used for employment screening in police departments, FBI, CIA, DEA, Secret Service • 23 states have banned the use of polygraph evidence in court • Many states allow it to be brought in “under special circumstances” – on a case-by-case basis • Only New Mexico routinely allows polygraph results at trial Weaknesses of the polygraph: Individual being tested • May be emotionally non-reactive • Must have faith in the polygraph for it to work correctly Lack of standardization • Behavior of polygrapher, number/content of questions, etc. Subjectivity in scoring – judgment made by a human Countermeasures • Elevate arousal during control questions or suppress arousal during relevant questions • Reduced the detection of guilty suspects in 1 study by 50%...and no one could tell that they were using countermeasures! Juror’s perception of the polygraph: Jurors find results persuasive Results can change outcome of a trial Effectiveness of results based on Persuasiveness of polygrapher testimony Sophistication of jurors Guilty Knowledge test: Uses polygraph equipment but does not attempt to detect lies Detects criminal knowledge: Recognition of scenes/events from the crime will elevate physiological arousal Promising – higher rate of correct classification than polygraph (97% of innocents and 88% of the guilty) Limitations • Need a number of accurate crime facts to construct the test • Facts cannot have been leaked to the public • Actual perpetrator must accurately remember the crime • No need to BE the perpetrator to have guilty knowledge • Study of 61 FBI cases – GKT could have been used in only 13- 18% of them Other deceptive detection strategies: Increasing “cognitive load” on interviewees • Asking them to tell the story in reverse order • Requiring that they maintain eye contact the entire time Asking unanticipated questions Drawing Criminal Profiling  FBI approach:  Organized-careful selection of victim, planned, average IQ  Disorganized – impulsive, random, below average IQ  Holmes approach:  Visionary- psychotic, hears voices, see visions  Mission Oriented- kills people they believe are evil  Hedonistic-kills others for thrill, sexual gratification  Power oriented: satisfaction from capturing and controlling the victim


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