Interrogation exam #3
Interrogation exam #3 3262–01/02
Popular in Investigation and Interrogation
Popular in Criminal Justice
This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Peter Wright on Wednesday November 4, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to 3262–01/02 at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania taught by Dr. Joshua Battin in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 36 views. For similar materials see Investigation and Interrogation in Criminal Justice at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.
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Date Created: 11/04/15
Initial assessment of the subject Investigator should take this time to assess: Intelligence Influence on drugs (legal, prescription, and alcohol) General nervous tensions (posture change, nervous laughs, etc) Neurological disorders (facial tics, rapid blinking, shaking of the hands*which could also indicate drug influence) “Make a data sheet of background, medication use, health considerations, etc. All of these things could mess up a BSA so be mindful of them.” Truth and deceptive behaviors Reticence (Reluctant to provide any answers what so ever. Could indicate a defensive deceptive person, or a fearful honest one). Impertinence (For children it is called Disrespect. A child showing disrespect does not indicate either truth or deception. However, impertinence in an adult indicates guilt and attempts to fend off questions) Anger (Could go either way. It is hard to tell if a person is genuinely angry for being accused, or if it is being used to bat off investigators. However, guilty people can often have their anger appeased more easily, while innocent people will stay angry over their predicament) Despair/Resignation (Usually implies guilt. Statements like “I don’t care if you believe me or not” or “nothing matters anyway” indicate that the subject is the guilty party. Ask them about their general life problems, and see if anything compares to being put behind bars) “Bring your common sense to the door? Does it make sense? Could there be another reason? Think.” Factors that lead to a misinterpreted behavior Overwhelming investigative evidence (Guilty subjects may have, psychologically, given up so severely on their predicament that conducting a BSA is nearly impossible since they won’t display any behavior signs at all, much less guilty ones. Check case facts to solidify suspicions of a suspect. Remember the interview and interrogation isn’t everything) Use of medication (It can distort any behavior and royally screw up a BSA. You can still go through with a planned interview though, provided the subject is on everyday life medications, not hard narcotics. Mental illness (Investigator should recognize symptoms of mental health issues and be highly skeptical of the BSA) Antisocial Personality (Psychopath) (In overall population only 3% of males and 1% of females show signs of this. But a disproportionate 40% of prison populations display psychopathic tendencies [lack of remorse, sympathy, etc]) Psychotic acts and habitual lies are used to prove superiority over victims or investigators, these actions give antisocial people a thrill. The investigator should pay close attention to the upper body and legs of these kinds of subjects since they are expert liars. They will even lie about insignificant things (like their age or height) to test the investigator. Intelligence, social responsibility, and maturity (If these are primary/strong traits then it helps make a BSA solid and reliable. Consideration of family, social ties, community involvement are all considered by these subjects, and causes an emotional response) Young children, less than 9 years old (Take everything they say with a grain of salt) Emotional condition (Consider traumatic conditions and emotional stability of a subject) Cultural differences (Be aware prior to the interview. Know how cultural norms will affect the BSA. But the BSA can still be established) Training in behavior symptom analysis (Paralinguistic and nonverbal behavior should be concentrated on for indications of deception) Case facts + what happens during the interview = reasonable suspicion (don’t just rely on the interview) When interrogating, start with a Positive Confrontation (followed by a pause). This allows you to conduct a BSA (even though this is an interrogation), it also increases anxiety and gives the suspect time to initial deny the guilt. This assesses their level of emotion, which is very important. Go into each interrogation with a clear plan and theme, don’t just wing it. Take the initial pause to collect your thoughts, remember not to let your emotions dictate the way you act. Sometimes you will have to give heinous criminals excuses and help justify them in their actions (so you can get a confession) Dealing with and emotional individual = Take a calm and sympathetic approach for those in great anger or distress. For those who are emotionless and blank, take a factual approach and rely on case facts. Weak denials indicate guilt Career criminals are experienced and are good at given straight forward denial, which is a trait normally found in truthful individuals. It is hard to keep their attention so be persistent All offenders have an emotional level of some degree Order of interrogation – Direct positive confrontation, pause for initial denial and BSA construction, and then establish a theme (sympathetic vs. factual) Right after we get a first admittance of guilt we forget all about the ‘why’ and focus on the ‘what’ technically happened (which is ironic because we spend the whole interrogation telling them that we need to know the why so we can establish their character…as if we care) Preliminary preparations (applying the 9 steps) You can leave during an interrogation unless the words “you are in custody” *followed by your Miranda rights* is spoken to you. Investigator should be VERY knowledgeable about the case prior to interrogation Allow suspects to sit alone for 5 minutes or so in the room prior to interrogation Have a folder of the case (or at least pretend the folder you have is of the case) into the room with you. It has a desirable outcome on both guilty and innocent parties. Consider other props you can use, but be careful with them. If the suspect catches on that a file is no more than a magazine or something it will ruin your credibility. Success/failure is determined by your initial approach Be polite but keep a degree of professional detachment Direct positive confrontation and behavioral pause After first statement pause for roughly 35 seconds (this will feel much longer that it actually is) This provides initial indication of guilt to be displayed And the suspects initial response to direct positive confrontation may render insight as to how the interrogation should proceed Transition statement – After you do the above give them a legal reason as to why they should say they committed the crime (“we want to help you out”). This establishes a Positive and sympathetic theme. Definition – A monologue presented by the interrogator in which reasons and excuses are offered that serve to psychologically justify/reduce the moral severity of the criminal act Psychological principles We are not forcing people into thinking they preformed a particular crime for a particular reason. People have already rationalized in their own minds as to why they were justified in what they did Even heinous predators have a psychological desire to be seen in the best possible light, despite what they did (with the rare exception of a complete psychopath) People will seek out particular people to find justification of doing what they did (ex – you did something stupid so instead of talking to your parents about it you go tell your equally stupid friends and hope for support) The theme is to make the investigator the means/avenue to be seen in that desired best possible light Ex – “You took the money to feed your kid” vs. “You probably took that money out of greed” An innocent person will reject an interrogation’s themes because they will not rationalize/justify a crime Principles of theme development Primary concept themes = positive (blaming others, blaming a situation, sympathizing) Secondary concept themes = negative (blaming the personal character of the suspect, their intensions, etc) There are multiple themes in each of these categories Be empathetic and/or sympathetic in your approach The objective is to get the first admittance of guilt Do not remind them of the potential punishment Themes Theme #1 – Sympathize, “other people would have done the same thing” “It’s perfectly understandable why you did what you did.” Theme #2 – Reduce the suspects guilt by minimizing the moral seriousness of the offence, “it’s no wonder you feel that way about little girls, I mean look at what they wear these days.” Theme #3 – Suggest a less revolting and morally acceptable motivation for offence which is know/presumed (ex – “Some people murder because they find it fun. You’re not like that are you? No, you did it out of desperation right?”) Theme #4 – Sympathize with suspect by condemning others. “Why are they picking on you? Everyone else does this. And besides they were asking for it by flaunting around all that money. They can afford it. They aren’t really hurt by this.” (People often preface the first admittance of guilt by blaming another person first). Theme #5 – Appeal to suspect’s pride with well selected flattery. “You seem like a good person. You’re boss says you are a great worker.” Theme #6 – Point out how the victim may have over exaggerated the accusation or the harm/seriousness caused by the crime. Theme #7 – Point out to suspect the grave consequences others have faced by committing terrible acts, and the futility of continuing a life of crime. (This is not to threaten them, but to get them to not want to be seen as one of the ‘bad people’) Legal considerations Do not promises either punishment or leniency Suspect’s behavior indicates correct theme choice – A rejecting theme, to a accepting theme Denial – Not accepting anything implication of committing a crime (just flat out saying no) Objection – Not accepting the implication but giving an excuse/a reasons as to why “Denials are/can be overcome with a simple “well our investigation shows that you did do this, so now we just need to know why…” *and then move on with the interrogation “ “Objections require a developed theme (example bellow)” *Statement - “I wouldn’t do xyz because I’m religious” *Counter – “And I want to believe that, I think you are a good person but other people won’t see it that way unless we have your side of the story…” Flow chart Denial “Yes you did do it, and here is why I think why.” *remain on the main track of the interrogation* Objection *Go slightly off the track* “I want to believe that, but others won’t, here is why I think you did it *Get back on track* *repeat* “Anticipate when a suspect is going to make a denial (You will see it building up inside of them)” “Discourage weak denials from happening “ “Respond properly to denials” Alternative question – It is a summation of the primary and secondary themes. It is a comparison of the negative and the positive, and develops both themes at the same time. Indicators of an upcoming denial Shaking head ‘no’ Holding up a hand to stop the investigator’s monologue Pushing back chair Breaking eye contact Discouraging weak denials Use suspects first name (the verbal delivery will assert control over the situation). Combine with gestures (Hold up your hand, move closer, or break eye contact) Breaking eye contact shows a lack of interest in their excuses Follow up with a message (keep the interrogation going) Go back to your theme development Handling deceptive denials Change themes on them (despite how well your development is going, keep them out of control of the session) Fein annoyance (with sternness and cold disinterest) Restate confidence in suspect’s guilt and bolster transition statement Change interrogators (if certain of their guilt but still not making any progress) As a LAST resort (meaning you have NO OTHER CHOICE) show the suspect evidence indicating their guilt (do this only if you are certain of their guilt and need at first admittance of guilt) “By showing them evidence the suspect now has context to argue about (and arguing with a suspect is NEVER the point of the investigation.” When a suspect gets out of their chair it is to get a reaction out of you Remain seated Pretend like it didn’t happen and continue with your theme development 30-60 seconds after the action request that they sit down and stress the importance of the session Address them by their first name When a suspect requests evidence Tell them you can’t right now Tell them it doesn’t matter if you do or now because in the end it won’t matter, because people will make their own opinions about the suspect unless they get their side of the story. (Always keep it about the ‘why’) “Objections are used because denials have been ineffective and it is an aggressive means to start an argument with the investigator. “ Objections are usually about Economics Religious/morality/emotions Factual elements Security Etc Objections are good for developing into the alternate question Buy into an objection and draw it out They cannot argue with you if you agree with them right away Do not refute an objection (because many of them are true despite suspect’s guilt) Discuss both positive and negative themes regarding the objections excuse and give a summary/statement of two themes This could lead to an alternative question
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