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PSYC39H3 (201)
Chapter 3

PSYC39 – Chapter 3.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Nussbaum

PSYC39 – Chapter 3 POLICE INTERROGATIONS - A process by whereby the police interview a suspect for the purpose of gathering evidence and obtaining a confession - confession evidence is a prosecutor’s most potent weapon - confession alone isn’t sufficient for conviction in US/Canada - interrogations w/ the intent of extracting a confession is seen as inherently coercive > the sys gives officers certain powers over you, the suspect th - mid 20 whipping used to obtain a confession > Brown v Mississippi - the more overt acts of physical coercion have become less freq and replaced w/ more subtle psychologically based interrogation techniques o lying about evidence/promising lenient treatment/threats to family - seen as a necessary evil in order to extract confession from reluctant suspects [police POV] - England police are taught interrogation tech far less coercive than NA The Reid Model of Interrogation - A nine step model of interrogation used freq in NA to extract confessions from suspects o John E Reid. polygrapher ‘Criminal Interrogation and Confessions - general level o 1. gather evidence and interview w/ witnesses and victims o 2. conduct nonaccusatorial interview w/ suspect to assess any evidence or deception o 3. accusatorial interrogation of the suspect [if perceived to be guilty]  nine steps procedure implemented in this last part - 9 step procedure in stage 3 > lec 3 slides 9- - model is based on the idea that suspects do not confess because they fear the potential consequences that await them - fear of consequences < anxiety associated with remaining deceptive - goal of this model is to reverse this making the consequences of confessing more desirable than the anxiety related to deception - min/max tech > can manipulate the two conflicting forces - minimization tech: Soft sell tactics used by police interrogators that are designed to lull the suspect into a false sense of security o sympathy, excuses, justification - maximization texh: scare tactics used by police that are designed to intimidate a suspect believed to be guilty o exaggerating seriousness, making false claims of evidence Potential problems w/ the Reid Model - deception detection: detecting when someone is being deceptive o key since the decision to commence a full interrogation relies on the officers accurate assessment of whether the suspect is being deceptive o no one is accurate in detecting deception so most of the time interrogations are launched under the incorrect assumption of guilt o Miranda rights/Charter of Rights protect suspects for this  issue: ppl may not understand rights/tricked into waiving - investigator bias: bias that can result when police officers enter an interrogation setting already believing that the suspect is guilty o if already believe one thing > seek out/interpret info to confirm o Mock trial study, guilt condition > slide 14 o SUM > investigative biases led to coercive and pressure filed interrogation that in turn caused the suspects to appear more defensive/guilty even when they were not guilty Interrogation Practices in Court - confession admissibility > 1. made voluntarily 2. competent when given o these terms are debated o confessions obtained through overt coercion are not admissible  brute force, deprivation, threats of harm, promises of leniency, notifying of rights o R v Oickle > arson > admissible then inadmissible then admissible Box 3.1 R v Hoilett >sexual assault Recent Changes to Interrogation Procedures - most changes in England > restrict many of tech in Reid Model - PEACE > England - video-recording interrogation is a common practice now [1/3 do it, 97% like] o angle/suspect only – cautious , less false accusations/confessions False Confessions - large % of wrongfully convicted crime included a false confession [21%] - retracted confessions: a confession that the confessor later declares to be false - disputed confession: a confession that is later disputed at trial [leg tech] - impossible to determine whether a confession is false [freq is unknown] Voluntary false confession - a false confession that is provided w/o any elicitation form the police o reasons > desire for notoriety, unable to distinguish fact/fiction, make up for pathological feelings of guilt, protect someone else o Charles Lindbergh’ s son > first to fly solo across Atlantic  200 people falsely confessed to the crime Coerced-compliant false confessions - a confession that results form a desire to escape a coercive interrogation environment of gain a benefit promised by the police [most common] - reasons > escape interrogation, gain benefit, avoid threatened punishment - Gerry Conlon > confessed to bombing pubs due to coercion - usually obtained through coercion - aware they are not responsible for the crime - Box 3.2 > R v M.J.S. > shaken baby Coerced-internalized False Confessions - a confession hat results form suggestive interrogation techniques whereby the confessor actually comes to believe he committed the crime - usually through minimization - reasons > substance abuse, inability to detect discrepancies btwn what they observed and what had been erroneously suggested, mental state - most freq of the false confessions - Ingram > assaulting daughters > 1. suggestive interrogation 2. brainwashed Interrogative Suggestibility and Compliance - compliance: a tendency to go along with demands made by people perceived to be in authority, even though the person may not agree with them - suggestibility: a tendency to accept information communicated during Qing Studying False Confessions in the Lab - no ethics committee would allow Ps to believe they have committed crimes - Kassin and Kienchel > list of letter experiment > vulnerable/false evidence cond > complied – 100%, internalized – 65% and confabulation – 35% - internalization: accepting that something suggested to you is true - confabulation: making things up - ppl can admit to acts they are not responsible for and come to believe their guilt to such a point that they can reconstruct details of an act that never occurred Consequences of Falsely Confessing - 1. impact that coerced confessions have on jurors 2. voluntary confessions to crimes people did not co
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