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psyc unit 4.docx

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PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

UNIT 4 - POLICE PROCEDURES CH. 3 -- the Psychology of Police Investigations police interrogation: a process whereby the police interview a suspect for the purpose of gathering evidence and obtaining a confession > we have moved away from using acts of physical coercion but this has been replaced with more subtle psychologically based interrogation techniques such as lying about evidence, promising lenient treatment, and implying threats to loved ones MR. BIG TECHNIQUE > a noncustodial procedure used by police to secure a confession > involves undercover police officer who pose as members of a criminal organization who attempt to lure the suspect into their "gang" > often suspect is made to commit some minor crimes to be "interviewed" for a higher level job, but before he gets the job with Mr. Big he must confess to a serious crime (THE ONE UNDER INVESTIGATION) > use of technique does raise some legal/ethical questions however, this type of sting operation falls outside of the Canadian definition of entrapment; it is a reasonable use of police trickery that does not bring the administration of justice into repute REID MODEL OF INTERROGATION > 9 step model of interrogation used frequently in North America to extract confessions from suspects > based on a book called Criminal Interrogation and Confessions written by Inbau et al. > at a general level the REID model is a 3 part process (1) gather evidence related to the crime and interview witnesses and victims (2) conduct a nonaccusatorial interview of the suspect to assess any evidence of deception (3) conduct an accusatorial interrogation of the suspect -- this is where the 9 step procedure gets implemented with the primary objective: secure confession 1 - immediately confront suspect with his/her guilt; if the police have no evidence against the suspect at the time the interrogator is allowed to hide this and pretend that evidence exists 2 - develop psychological themes that allow the suspect to justify, rationalize or excuse the crime 3 - interrupt any statements of denial by the suspect so ensure the suspect does not get the upper hand in the interrogation 4 - overcome the suspect's objections to the charges until the suspect becomes quiet and withdrawn 5 - once the suspect has become withdrawn, ensure the suspect does not tune out of the interrogation by reducing the psychological distance between yourself and suspect (I.E. reduce physical distance between interrogator and suspect) 6 - exhibit sympathy and understanding for suspect while urging them to come clean (I.E. appeal to suspect's sense of decency) 7 - offer suspect face-saving explanations for the crime thus making self- incrimination easier to achieve 8 - once suspect accepts responsibility develop this admission into a full blown confession 9 - get the suspect to write and sign a full confession > goal of this model is to reverse the state of affairs by making confessing to the crime more desirable to the suspect than the anxiety related to deception - this can be done using minimization and maximization techniques minimization techniques: soft sell tactics used by police interrogators that are designed to lull the suspect into a false sense of security; these tactics include the use of sympathy, excuses and justifications (good cop) maximization techniques: scare tactics used by police interrogators that are designed to intimidate a suspect believed to be guilty; typically acheived by exaggerating the seriousness of the offence and by lying about evidence > in practice, research shows that Canadian officers do not strictly adhere to the core components of the Reid Model; however, more confessions were given when the interrogation contained a greater proportion of Reid Techniques - REID suggestions were used the most frequently and coercive strategies were used the least - in some instances rights of suspects were not read Problems With Reid Model > there are 3 problems in particular, the first 2 relate to the ability of investigators to detect deception and the biases that may result when an interrogator believes (even incorrectly) that a suspect is guilty; the 3rd problem has to do with the coercive nature of certain interrogation practices (1) detecting deception - is an issue because the actual interrogation of a suspect only occurs after an initial interview has allowed the interrogator to determine whether or not the suspect is guilty -- an interrogation relies on an accurate assessment of whether or not the suspect is being deceptive when they claim to be innocent > currently very little research available that suggests police officers are "more accurate" at detecting deception and even appears true when special training has been learned -- only exception is some Canadian programs which have been showed to increase lie detection > safeguards are in place to protect individuals during the transition into the interrogation process (I.E. CCRF, Miranda Rights) however, studies showed that most people do not understand their rights and self-report confidence was not a good predictor of ability, but people have an easier time understanding these when written out (2) investigator bias - bias that can result when police officers enter an interrogation setting already believing that the suspect is guilty -- problem occurs when people seek out and interpret info in that situation in a way that verifies their initial belief > study done using students acting as interrogators or suspects; 6 results emerged - interrogators with guilty expectations asked more questions that indicated their belief in the suspect's guilt - interrogators with guilty expectations used more interrogation techniques than interrogators with innocent expectations - interrogators with guilty expectations judged more suspects to be guilty regardless of whether or not they actually were - interrogators exerted more pressure on suspects to confess even though the suspect was innocent - suspects had fairly accurate perceptions of interrogator behaviour - neutral observers viewed interrogators with guilty expectations as more coercive esp. against innocent suspects these findings suggest investigative biases led to coercive interrogations that caused suspects to appear more guilty even when they hadn't committed a crime Interrogation Practices and the Courts > decision to admit confession evidence into court rests on the shoulders of the trial judge > in NA key issue judge must consider is whether or not the confession was made voluntarily and whether the defendant was competent when he or she provided the confession - confes
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