Many important court cases depend on memory-based evidence. When there is not enough physical evidence to convict a suspect, law enforcement relies on testimonies and confessions to put criminals behind bars, yet, not all testimonies are reliable. Throughout the years, there have been many people who have been falsely convicted based on inadequate police interrogation methods that allowed for false confessions to occur.
Effectiveness of Interrogation Methods Used by Civil Law Enforcement Every level of law enforcement uses some form of interrogation to get valuable information from a person. Police officers interrogate persons of interest to get information such as alibis, motives and witness accounts. Many court cases rely …show more content…
For example intimidation, bribery, denial of rights and mental exhaustion are against the guidelines of the Reid Technique, however, they are often used in order to gain a suspect’s cooperation (https://www.cga.ct.gov/2014/rpt/2014-R-0071.htm). In an investigation where a father was accused of murdering his infant son, the interrogators repeatedly used techniques to mentally exhaust the suspect in an effort to break him. Throughout the interrogation, the father repeatedly denied that he was at fault, however, the interrogator insisted that he was, describing different scenarios that could have played out and suggesting different motives the father could have had in killing the infant. At one point the interrogator claimed he had “received detailed information about the infant’s injuries from the medical examiner that disproved what the father said”, even though the coroner’s report couldn’t prove anything (Brainerd, …show more content…
Gallini (2009), who holds a Juris doctor, a master of law degree, and is widely recognized in the community for his opinions on interrogation techniques, is a firm disbeliever in the Reid Technique. He believes that “the methodology underlying the Reid technique fails every aspect of the Supreme Court’s standards governing the admission of expert evidence” and that evidence collected through the Reid technique should not be relied on (p. 529). In addition to Gallini’s beliefs, Dr. Christian Meissner, who holds a Ph.D. in cognitive and behavioral sciences, has stated in multiple texts that the interrogation methods used by law enforcement frequently produce false confessions. If the suspect believes that there is evidence against him, if he truly believes that all hope is lost, and then is offered a bargain. If he confesses he could get a lighter prison sentence. A person would assume that an innocent man would never take up that offer, however, when an innocent man is put in a situation where he is mentally exhausted, has been told that there is evidence against him and honestly believes that he is going to jail, he may confess in the attempt to make his impending doom a little less
In the trial of the four Norfolk sailors, the main reason why they were all convicted was not the proclaimed evidence that wasn’t on the scene, but was the confessions that they were coerced to say during the interrogations. There was virtually no evidence against the four sailors, but the jury sided that they were all guilty. The major problem during the trial was that no evidence was found at the crime scene and the prosecution only badgered the four sailors based on confessions that they were threatened to say or else they
In 1966, an influential court case occurred – one that would shape the United States to improve the justice system. Ernesto Miranda was accused for crimes and identified by the victim, after which he was then interrogated. Miranda orally confessed to a crime and signed a written confession; however, he did not request a lawyer, nor was he advised of his right to have one present. Due to the inadequate constitutionality of the situation, Miranda was able to challenge the Supreme Court in this conviction. The ruling in Miranda represents the fulfillment of the legal tradition of the promise of self-incrimination by offering protection in statements, reinforcing the Fifth Amendment, and the equity of suspects during interrogation.
When people are suspects under the law, they are entitled to their Miranda rights. A persons Miranda rights entitle them to remain silent, have an attorney present, have an attorney appointed to them if they cannot afford one, and that person is questioned if they understand those rights. It seems that a whopping 80% of suspects waive their Miranda rights. There are no exact reasons, only speculations as to why people waive that right. One that I will focus on is “Why do I need an attorney, if I did not do anything wrong?”
In other words, detectives make people believe they are lying which makes them give a false confession. Furthermore, people who are afraid during interrogations are more likely to confess to a crime they did not commit. According to Saul M. Kassin and Katherine L. Kiechel, authors and researchers of The Social Psychology of False Confessions: Compliance, Internalization, and Confabulation believes intimation is the main reasons why people give false confessions (125). People who are innocent are more likely to give a false confession, because they are scared and the detectives are convincing them they have committed a crime. Therefore, manipulation and intimidation are tactics that are used to get people to confess to a crime they did not
She urges jurors to remain skeptical of eyewitness identifications of defendants, and demonstrates how mistakes have been made. This book is built around descriptions of cases in which Loftus has been involved as an expert witness for the defense. The book begins with a brief description
08 Feb. 2016. This source explains that torture is actually one of the last methods used when they are interrogating someone since many know that it has a very low success rate. If the person is not willing to cooperate, they go down a list. Many people thought to use the top methods as they are not as immoral. Getting to the end of the list thought means they have nothing else to make the person talk which is why they use
The principle in law that one is innocent until proven guilty has created much discourse. There are those who feel that the moment that one is arrested, there is reasonable belief that they committed the crime. However, there are those who feel that just as the principle states, one is, and should be taken as a victim and the outcome could be either way: guilty or not guilty. In fact, this argument is supported by the many cases of malicious prosecutions and mistaken identities.
This is significant because it enabled the wrongfully accused to prove that they did not commit the crime for which they falsely confessed. In 2004, Drizin and Leo studied 125 of these cases to determine the causes. Physical and psychological coercion have been found to induce false confessions, especially in children. Brenton Butler was 15 years old when he went into that
The creation of the United States and the colonies that came before, brought about many legal traditions and precedents. Among these legal traditions and precedents, is an essential precedent present in all interrogation related proceedings and court ones—the Miranda warning. When an individual is detained, they may be subjected to an interrogation by designated officials. During an interrogation certain rights are guaranteed to an individual through the provision of the Bill of Rights to prevent self-incrimination and the historical precedent established before it. However, in certain situations, these rights were not always guaranteed as they should’ve been.
In early interrogations it was common for police officers to use physically abusive interrogation techniques such as the rubber hose to convince suspects to confess to a crime, whether they are innocent of guilty. Fred Inbau came up with a different technique that relied on presenting a large amount of fabricated or true evidence to get the suspect to confess. This technique was very effective in getting confessions, it has an 80% confession rate. Unfortunately, some of the confessions are false confessions, we do not know how many exactly. The first step of the Reid Technique, a similar coercive technique to the one Inbau devised, was to watch the suspect and determine whether or not he or she is lying during the interrogation based on behavioral analysis; which is severely flawed and does not actually help us determine if someone is lying.
Furthermore, there can be several factors at play when a wrongful conviction occurs and each case is unique. Three of the more common and detrimental factors that will be explored in this essay are eyewitness error, the use of jailhouse informants and professional and institutional misconduct. Firstly, eyewitness testimony can be a major contributor to a conviction and is an important factor in wrongful conviction (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p. 227). Witness recall and, frankly, the human emory are not as reliable as previously thought. In fact there has been much research showing the problems with eyewitness testimony such as suggestive police interviewing, unconscious transference, and malleability of confidence (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p.227).
Entrapment is used by officers to persuade and lure suspicious civilians to commit a crime that they have not been proven guilty of. This article talks about entrapment and explains positives and negatives of they system. The article focuses on the holes and unclear frame work in the entrapment tactic. Entrapment is a useful tactic in catching suspicious criminals before they commit a crime that could possible hurt someone. This is a good and efficient tactic for officers, it keeps the innocent safe.
Thesis: Police interrogations can occasionally lead to false confessions due to misclassification, coercion, and contamination. I. The phrase “Innocent until proven guilty” is a popular statement among law enforcement and government employees, but this statement is not always upheld, as various errors, such as misclassification, are a major cause of false confessions. A. Misclassification errors are caused by “investigator bias,” where the investigator goes into the interrogation believing the suspect is guilty. (Keene)
To be a good interrogator it requires more than confidence and creativity although it does help, but interrogators are very well trained in the mental tactics of social impact. An interrogators task is to get someone to confess to a crime, but it is not easy. While it isn’t easy for them, sometimes they will end up with confessions from the innocent testifies because of the expertise in psychological manipulation interrogators have. The interrogation process has been manipulated over the years and they are using unethical approaches to gain information or a confession from suspects. But in the law of confessions, it is required that confessions are not coerced but be voluntary so that it is admitted into evidence.