LETURE TWO: SEPTEMBER 13TH, 2012
TOPIC: POLICE INVESTIGATIONS
REFER TO PPT
LAST'S WEEKS DEMO
➔ Drug article → two conditions → part of the class had an article where drugs were found while
others had an article where drugs were not found.
➔ Outcome information → may not be necessarily relevant to your decision.
➔ Hindsight bias → decisions influenced by outcome of event (affects interpretation).
➔ Outcome variable → we had control over
➔ Does this affect how we judge a police officer's actions? (Those who saw no drugs thought the
police were too harsh, those who did see drugs felt differently).
➔ Did the outcome information cause the difference?
➔ IV → outcome info (drugs vs. no drugs) DV → damages awarded, judgments of behavior.
➔ Observing the behavior of the police before you knew the outcome. Was it reasonable?
➔ There was significant differences for the award given between the two situations. No drugs
found → high amount of money.
➔ Drugs not found → police are harsh.
➔ Drugs found → police used reasonable force.
➔ This study demonstrated yes the outcome info altered the awards and the interpretation of
INTERROGATIONSAND CONFESSIONS-WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS
➔ Each person in the pictures were wrongfully convicted of murder.
➔ 284 wrongful convictions documented (this number has raised since then).
➔ REFER TO PPT → ways that lead to people being wrongfully convicted. The one we are
focusing on today is false confessions
CASE OF ROMEO PHILLION
➔ He gave the confession because he had a drag queen lover and knew they would be brought into
questioning so he protects the person by saying it was him but then later retracts his confession
and is convicted.
➔ 2002 → case re-opened due largely to a number of law students who saw evidence that showed
he was not there and that his car was in a repair shop. New evidence reviewed.
➔ 2003 → 31 years after being convicted he is released.
➔ 2009 → he is granted a new trial. Evidence that should have been presented was not.
➔ 2010 → charges removed.
➔ Picture of old man is him in his 70's now. Picture of men together are other people wrongfully
CENTRAL PARK JOGGER CASE
➔ Trisha Meili → a woman who goes jogging one evening in central park, body found, raped,
beaten, almost left dead (70 percent blood loss).
➔ No memory of what happened.
➔ Police focus investigation on a group of boys. 6 boys interrogated for a day and a half. Five
confess to the rape. Four gave videotaped confessions. Individually interviewed and interrogated.
➔ Confession → most important piece of evidence in this case. Rape was described in detail by
➔ Excerpts taken from the interrogation → description of how they explained how they did it.
➔ Police takes them to the scene.
➔ These confessions sound very drastic and real.
FACTORS AT WORK IN INTERROGATIONS
➔ Take into account the aspects listed on the PPT. when thinking about who is going through this
process. (Kids going through days of harsh interrogation).
➔ Police did not notice how each boy's story did not fit together → inconsistent
➔ Race factor used here (black kids, portarican, white woman killed).
➔ All five were convicted (5-15 years of sentencing).
➔ 2002 → Matias Reyes confesses that he raped her and that he did it alone. Took years of good
people suffering in jail before he chose to confess.
➔ 290 cases now of wrongful convictions.
➔ DNAon Matias matched. The others did not match.
➔ Why did they not test DNAto begin with? Confessions are so powerful that police stop
investigating and assume it is case closed.
FALSE CONFESSIONS AT ROOT OF MANY OF THE WRONGFULLY CONVICTED
➔ Canadian false confessions → 18% andAmericans → 25%.
➔ Outright confessions or plead guilty → because they do not want to go all the way through trial.
➔ Police want to obtain a partial or full confession.
➔ They also want other relevant info like where is the body. (evidence needed for trial).
➔ Confession → most powerful piece of evidence → very convincing (police automatically
assume guilt). They look no further and this includes judges and the jury as well.
➔ Confessions build the case → police do not need much more now to make a point of the case.
➔ Hard to retract a confession.
➔ If they went to trial after confessing they were usually convicted. Most do not even have to go
to trial for the case to come to an end after confessing.
HASELAND KASSIN 2009
➔ This is an experiment.
➔ Once you have a confession other evidence can be corrupted.
➔ Is the information listed on the PPT independent? (denied guilt, confession, another suspect
➔ Witnesses change the ID of the suspect when receiving feedback. Confessions make people
wonder if they got the right guy. If in this case another suspect confesses the witness would start
to doubt whether it is the right person or not. Need to make sure the confession is true.
➔ Past → physical force used to get confession, now a days → isolate them, threaten, deprive them of sleep etc (psychological harm rather than physical).
➔ Prison studies in the 60's (people playing the role of prison guards versus prisoners) → known
➔ Studied police manuals → used a lot of psychological methods (coercive mechanisms).
➔ Example → an environment with no distractions (a room with two chairs and a table, no
pictures, nothing at all).
THE REID TECHNIQUE
➔ Took Zimbardo's study and perfected it.
➔ REFER TO PPT. Site for this listed on Moodle.
➔ This is a big industry in the States.
➔ This is what Zimbardo was taking about.
➔ Blank room, chair for suspect and interrogator, no pictures, one way mirror, desk).
➔ Side Note → look up Russell Williams (taped interrogation).
➔ Promotes feelings of isolation and lack of control.
THE REID METHOD (DECONSTRUCT IT PSYCHOLOGICALLY)
➔ REFER TO PPT
➔ Assume person did it based on the notion that people would not confess to something they
did not do. Move them away from denial and bring them toward support. They make
denial the harder one to maintain.
THREE GENERAL PARTS
➔ (1)Gather evidence/info, interview suspects
➔ (2)Use interview to observe whether there is deception
➔ (3)Then do an interview that is full of accusations and assumptions (interrogate using a 9 step
➔ Objective: get