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Criminal Psychology. Chapter 11 - part 1 Interrogations and Confessions Talbot Kellogg Community College. The Importance of Confessions. Confession – Why so important?

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Criminal psychology l.jpg

Criminal Psychology

Chapter 11 - part 1

Interrogations and Confessions

Talbot

Kellogg Community College


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The Importance of Confessions

  • Confession –

  • Why so important?

    “No other class of evidence is so profoundly prejudicial… Triers of fact accord confessions such heavy weight in their determinations that the introduction of a confession makes the other aspects of a trial in court superfluous, and the real trial, for all practical purposes, occurs when the confession is obtained.” (Colorado v. Connelly, 1986, p. 182).

    Supreme Court Justice William Brennan


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The role of the Psychologist

  • Evaluator

    • Procedures used in police interrogations

  • Educator

  • Expert Witness

  • Author of an amicus brief


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Interrogations/ Interviews

  • Definition: ______________________________________________________________

  • The reality.

    Interrogation v. Interview


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What is allowable in this process?

  • Legally permissible interrogation tactics.

  • The Goals of Law-enforcement.


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Manipulative Tactics

Minimization – “soft sell”

Maximization – “scare tactics”

Knowledge-Bluff –

Baiting questions –

Rapport Building – “emotional appeal”


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Tactics that are illegalPromises, Threats, & Lies?

  • Physical or psychological coercion


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The Question

  • Does the suspect reasonably think he or she is in sufficient danger?

  • Rule of Thumb

    Any promise referencing an escape from punishment or the mitigation of punishment invalidates a confession.

  • This includes any indirect offering of doing what they can to help.


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Why are not all deceitful tactics excluded?

  • Justice Thurgood Marshall

  • Martin E. Frazier decision (1969)


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