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School
University of Guelph
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3020
Professor
Dan Yarmey
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 3 POLICE INTERROGATIONS  In some countries, people may be convicted solely on the basis of their confession, although in North America, a confession usually has to be backed up by some other form of evidence  People who confess to a crime are more likely to be prosecuted and convicted  The goals of a police interrogation 1. gain information that furthers the investigation (the location of evidence) 2. to obtain a confession  Mid-twentieth century whipping was occasionally used to obtain confessions- now replaced with more subtle, psychologically based interrogation techniques, such as lying about evidence, promising lenient treatment, and implying threats to loved ones  Depending on where this training is provided, different approaches are taught. England and Wales are trained to use interrogation techniques that are far less coercive The Reid Model of Interrogation  The most common interrogation training program offered to North American police officers that describe the Reid model of interrogation based on the idea that suspects do not confess to crimes they have committed because they fear the potential consequences that await them if they do  The Reid model consists of a three-part process. 1. gather evidence related to the crime and to 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 in which a nine-step procedure is implemented, with the primary objective being to secure a confession  Consists of the following steps: 1. The suspect is immediately confronted with their guilt. 2. Themes are developed that let the suspect to justify, rationalize, or excuse the crime. 3. The interrogator interrupts any statements of denial by the suspect to ensure the suspect does not get the upper hand in the interrogation. 4. The interrogator overcomes the suspect's objections to the charges to a point at which the suspect becomes quiet and withdrawn. 5. The interrogator ensures that the suspect does not tune out of the interrogation by reducing the psychological distance them (by physically moving closer) 6. The interrogator then exhibits sympathy and understandin 7. The suspect is offered face-saving explanations for the crime, which makes self- incrimination easier to achieve. 8. Once the suspect accepts responsibility (typically by agreeing with one of the face- saving explanations), the interrogator develops this admission into a full confession. 9. Finally, the interrogator gets the suspect to write and sign a full confession.  other suggestions for how to effectively interrogate suspects include things such as using a plainly decorated interrogation room to avoid distractions, having the evidence folder in your hand when beginning the interrogation, and making sure that the suspect is alone in the interrogation suite prior to the interrogator entering the room  Techniques used in the Reid model of interrogation can be broken down into two general categories. Minimization techniques: refer to "soft sell" tactics used by police interrogators that are designed to "lull the suspect into a false sense of security" include the use of sympathy, excuses, and justifications. Maximization techniques: refer to "scare tactics" that interrogators often use "to intimidate a suspect believed to be guilty"  Studies indicate that many of the techniques are used in actual police interrogations, although the frequency of use varied across techniques. Almost always used techniques such as isolating suspects from friends and family and trying to establish rapport with suspects to gain their trust. Less frequently used techniques included confronting suspects with their guilt and appealing to their self-interest. Even less common but sometimes used, were providing justifications for the crime and implying or pretending to have evidence. Very rare were instances of threatening the suspect with consequences for not cooperating and physically intimidating the suspect.  Canadian interrogators do not strictly adhere to the core components of the Reid model but some of the guidelines were regularly observed.  more confessions were obtained when interrogations used more of the Reid techniques.  Three potential problems with the Reid model of interrogation The first two relate to the ability of investigators to detect deception and to the biases that may result when an interrogator believes, perhaps incorrectly, that a suspect is guilty The third problem has to do with the coercive nature of certain interrogation practices,  Deception detection: Detecting when someone is being deceptive little research is available to suggest that police officers, or anyone else, can detect deception with any degree of accuracy- even after receiving specialized training some recent exceptions to this in Canada, where certain training programs have been shown to increase lie detection accuracy procedural safeguards are in place to protect an individual during the transition to the interrogation phase of the Reid model only when suspects knowingly and voluntarily waive these rights that their statements can be used as evidence against them There types of rights may not provide the protection that they are assumed to provide because many individuals do not understand their rights participants had difficulty understanding each of the cautions, particularly certain elements, but presenting the cautions in written format, one element at a time, allowed for a greater degree of comprehension. self-reported confidence was not a good predictor of participant's comprehension  Investigator bias: Bias that can result when police officers enter an interrogation setting already believing that the suspect is guilty people unknowingly seek out and interpret information in that situation in a way that verifies their initial belief. mock interrogation study, where interrogators were led to believe if suspect was guilty or innocent- important results were found 1. Interrogators with guilty expectations asked more questions that indicated their belief in the suspect's guilt. 2. Interrogators with guilty expectations used a higher frequency of interrogation techniques compared with interrogators with innocent expectations, especially at the outset of the interrogation. 3. Interrogators with guilty expectations judged more suspects to be guilty, regardless of whether the suspect was actually guilty. 4. Interrogators indicated that they exerted more pressure on suspects to confess when, unbeknownst to them, the suspect was innocent. 5. Suspects had fairly accurate perceptions of interrogator behaviour 6. Neutral observers viewed interrogators with guilty expectations as more coercive, especially against innocent suspects, and they viewed suspects in the guilty expectation condition as more defensive. Interrogation Practices and the Courts  Within North America, the key issues a judge must consider when faced with a questionable confession are whether the confession was made voluntarily and whether the defendant was competent when he or she provided the confession  A confession is typically excluded if there was overt forms of coercion elicited by brute force; prolonged isolation; deprivation of food or sleep; threats of harm or punishment; promises of immunity or leniency; or, barring exceptional circumstances, without notifying the suspect of his or her constitutional rights"  more subtle forms of psychological coercion are regularly admitted into court, as seen with R. v. Oickle - but limits are set seen with R. V. Hoilett. An Alternative to the Reid Model  England and Wales,- use the PEACE model (Planning and preparation, Engage and explain, Account, Closure, and Evaluation) to guide their interrogations (now called investigative interviewing ) model provides an inquisitorial framework within which to conduct police interrogations (compared with the accusatorial framework used in the Reid model) based on an interview method known as conversation management, which encourages information gathering more than securing a confession.  some research indicates that a decrease in the use of coercive interrogation tactics does not necessarily result in a substantial reduction in the number of confessions that can be obtained FALSE CONFESSIONS  Research indicates that when people have been wrongfully convicted of a crime, a false confession is often to blame.  Retracted confession: An individual declaring that the confession he or she made is false  Disputed confessions: confessions that are disputed at trial, which does not necessarily mean the confession is false or that it was retracted. may arise because of legal technicalities, or because the suspect disputes the confession was ever made  False confession: A confession that is either intentionally fabricated or is not based on actual knowledge of the facts that form its content Both are often confused with false confessions:  The major problem is that in most cases it is almost impossible to determine whether a confession is actually false. Different Types of False Confessions Most common typology still appears to be the one proposed by Kassin and Wrightsman which states that false confessions consist of 1. Voluntary false confessions: when someone voluntarily confesses to a crime he or she did not commit without any elicitation from the police. voluntarily false confess for a variety of reasons. (1) a morbid desire for notoriety, (2) the person being unable to distinguish fact from fantasy, (3) the need to make up for pathological feelings of guilt by receiving punishment, (4) a desire to protect somebody else from harm (particularly prevalent with juveniles). highly publicized cases do occasionally result in voluntary false confessions most famously with the case of Charles Lindbergh's baby son. 2. Coerced-compliant false confessions: the suspect confesses to a crime, even though the suspect is fully aware that he or she did not commit it.- MOST COMMOM caused by the use of coercive interrogation tactics on the part of the police, such as the maximization techniques described earlier. Coerced-compliant false confessions for a variety of reasons (1) escape further interrogation, (2) gain a promised benefit, (3) avoid a threatened punishment 3. Coerced-internalized false confessions: individuals recall and confess to a crime they did not commit, because they end up believing they are responsible for the crime.  usually after they are exposed to highly suggestible questions, such as the minimization techniques  several vulnerability factors are associated with this type of false confession (1) a history of substance abuse or some other interference with brain function, (2) the inability of people to detect discrepancies between what they observed and what has been erroneously suggested to them, (3) factors associated with mental state, such as severe anxiety or feelings of guilt. Studying False Confessions in the Lab  researchers have attempted to develop innovative laboratory paradigms that allow them to study the processes that may cause false confessions to occur without putting their participants at risk.  Confabulation: The reporting of events that never actually occurred  Kassin and Kiechel -tested whether individuals would confess to a crime they didn’t commit. many participants accepted responsibility for the crime despite the fact that they were innocent, particularly the vulnerable participants presented with false evidence. many participants also internalized their confession which was especially true for vulnerable participants presented with false evidence. Vulnerable participants presented with false evidence were found to be particularly susceptible to confabulation.  Hard to generalize because (1) participants had nothing to lose if they couldn't convince others of their innocence (2) all participants were actually innocent of the crime (3) participants could have easily been confused about their guilt  Russano et al. asked participants to do a computer tack where some were setup to fail Guilty participants were much more likely to confess participants who were offered a deal were more likely to confess -This was the case for both guilty and innocent suspects participants were more likely to confess when minimization tactics were used- this was the case for both guilty and innocent participants The largest increase in confession rates occurred when both minimization and deals were used together.  Recent studies have shown that jurors might be likely to convict a suspect based on confession evidence even when the jurors are aware that the suspect's confession resulted from a coercive interrogation.  less commonly recognized, consequence for the police and, therefore, the public the police are diverted down a false trail that may waste valuable time that they could have used to identify and apprehend the real offender. CRIMINAL PROFILING Criminal profiling: a technique for identifying the major personality and behavioural characteristics of an individual based upon an analysis of the crimes he or she has committed  most commonly used in cases of serial homicide and most applicable in cases in which extreme forms of psychopathology are exhibited by the offender  originally intended to help the police identify the criminal, either by narrowing down a list of suspects or by providing new lines of inquiry.  now it is often used for To help set traps to flush out an offender To determine whether a threatening note should be taken seriously To give advice on how best to interrogate a suspect To tell prosecutors how to break down defendants in crossexamination  most common personality and behavioural characteristics that profilers try to predict include the offender's age, sex, race, level of intelligence, educational history, hobbies, family background, residential location, criminal history, employment status, psychosexual development, and post-offence behaviour  the majority of profilers are experienced and specially trained law enforcement officers Early Attempts at Criminal Profiling  1888- Jack the Ripper  1940- New York City's Mad Bomber  1970s- development of a criminal profiling program at the FBI  1972 - National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime opened for conducting research in the area of criminal profiling and providing formal guidance to police agencies around the United States that were investigating serial crimes, serial murder in particular. VlCLAS: The Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System, which was developed by the RCMP to collect and analyze information on serious crimes from across Canada Linkage blindness: An inability on the part of the police to link geographically dispersed serial crimes committed by the same offender because of a lack of information sharing among police agencies Different Types of Profiling Methods  process of profiling as an equation in the form: WHAT + WHY = WHO. WHAT of the crime refers to the material that profilers collect WHY of the crime refers to the motivation for the crime and each crime scene behaviour. WHO of the crime refers to the actual profile that is eventually constructed  Profilers can use two approaches: the deductive profiling method and the inductive profiling method. Deductive criminal profiling: the prediction of an offender's back- ground characteristics generated from a thorough analysis of the evidence left at the crime scenes This method largely relies on logical reasoning primary disadvantage of this profiling method is that the underlying logic of the argument can sometimes be faulty. Inductive criminal profiling: involves the prediction of an offender's background characteristics generated from a comparison of that particular offender's crimes with similar crimes committed by other, known offenders. relies largely on a determination of how likely it is an offender will possess certain background characteristics given the prevalence of them among other known offenders who have committed similar crimes. The key problem is that it will never be possible to have a representative sample of serial offenders from which to draw profiling conclusions.  Many profilers today use an inductive profiling approach (organized- disorganized model) developed by the FBI through interviews with incarcerated offenders the FBI has refined this model to account for the many offenders who display mixtures of organized and disorganized features The Validity of Criminal Profiling  that police officers hold generally positive (although somewhat cautious) views of profiling  police officers know the limitations- indicating that it shouldn't be used as evidence in court, that it shouldn't be used for all types of crimes, and that it does have the potential to seriously mislead an investigation.  Three criticisms in particular have received attention from researchers: 1. Many forms of profiling are based on a theoretical model of personality that lacks strong empirical support. rely on a classic trait model: that says the primary determinants of behaviour are stable, internal traits. These traits are assumed to result in the expression of consistent patterns ofbehaviour over time and across situations. 2. Many profiles contain information that is vague/ ambiguous they may fit many suspects.  There is support for this criticism but other result suggests that in certain jurisdictions at least this potential problem may be waning. 3. Professional profilers may be no better than untrained individuals at constructing accurate criminal profiles.  professional profilers were the most accurate when it came to profiling cognitive processes (degree of planning) and social history (marital status).  psychologists were the most accurate when it came to profiling physical characteristics (offender age), offence behaviours (degree of control), and personality features (temperament).  combined score of the nonprofiler groups was lower than the profilers GEOGRAPHIC PROFILING Geographic profiling: An investigative technique that uses crime scene locations to predict the most likely area where an offender resides  also consider other factors that may affect an offender's spatial behaviour, such as the density of suitable victims in an area  The basic assumption is- most serial offenders do not travel far from home to commit crimes  used primarily for prioritizing potential suspects.  One of the first cases in which geographic profiling techniques were used was the case of the Yorkshire Ripper in England.  Geographic profiling systems: Computer systems that use mathematical models of offender spatial behaviour to make predictions about where unknown serial offenders are likely to live Every single location on the map is assigned an overall probability and these probabilities are designated a colour.  People wonder if geographic profiling systems are necessary  study found that before any training, approximately 50% of participants made predictions that were as accurate as a computerized system about weather serial offenders will live close to the locations of the majority of their crimes.  After training, there was no difference between the average accuracy of the partici
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