Interviews interrogations
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Interviews & Interrogations. What skills and techniques do Investigators use to get information from a person?. Interview.

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Interviews & Interrogations

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Interviews & Interrogations

What skills and techniques do Investigators use to get information from a person?


Interview

  • Non-accusatory, structured interview during which specific behavior provoking questions are asked with the purpose of eliciting interpretable behavior symptoms that are typical of innocence or guilt.

  • Additional factual information concerning the case/or suspects may also be developed during this non-accusatory interview.


Interrogation

  • Conversation between the interrogator and suspect, during which the suspect is accused of involvement in a particular incident or group of incidents.

  • An interview is non-accusatory and an interrogation is accusatory


Field Interview Basics:

  • 90% of job

  • Field interviews by definition are in the field – limited control

  • Objective is accurate information

  • The more private the better – candid and less likely to be affected by other witness statements

  • Establish rapport

  • Reduce tension – spatial, non-verbal


Field Interview Basics:

  • Actively listen to whole story

  • Then – ask specifics and take notes

  • Guide/keep on task and avoid being questioned yourself

  • Be objective, even in face of obvious lies – challenging lie will disrupt flow

  • End with summation

  • Determine if more extensive interview is needed: be sure to always get contact info


Confession vs. Admission

  • Confession is an acknowledgment of guilt – usually criminal court

  • Admission is a statement of fact – usually civil proceeding


Setting

  • Quiet place that can be controlled

  • Interview rooms ideal

    • Sparse

    • Recording devices

    • Control

    • Safe

    • No window

    • Three chairs & a table


Setting

  • One on one

    • Multiple interrogators reduce likelihood of trust

      • Could also be “coercive”


Who Gets Questioned?

Victims

  • At home/hospital

  • Not best source of info – particularly on details

  • Type of crime may inhibit information

  • Vengeful – may distort or exaggerate


Who Gets Questioned?

Witnesses

  • The more independent - the more valuable

  • Witness may be suspect – Gideon

  • Witness with a grudge may ruin case


Who Gets Questioned?

  • Informers – the more protected they feel – the better the info

  • Accusers/complainants – vengeance may taint info

  • Suspects


Main Purposes of an Interviewor Interrogation

  • Establish Facts: Who, What, When, Where, and Why?

  • Identify the guilty party or parties.

  • Obtain a confession from the guilty.

  • Establish a suspect.

  • Clear other related cases and recover evidence or assets.


Preparation

  • Know everything you can about interviewee

    • Rap sheet

    • Internet search (Facebook et al)

    • Info gathered from other interviews

    • Investigative databases – public (NCIC) & private (Choicepoint)

    • Other databases - credit reports, etc.

  • Identify information you need to get

  • Outline questioning


Communication Dynamics

Wording 10%: accuracy is vital

Voice 40%: tone, pitch, pace

Body language 50%: tells the story


Kinesic Interview Techniques

  • Watch for certain unspoken clues like gestures, facial expressions and physical postures.

  • Nearly every person unwittingly communicates her mental or emotional state, physical condition and more through cues in her body language.


Kinesic Interview Techniques

Verbal cues: Tone, shakiness, volume

  • Speech quality and content

  • Broken sentences

  • Inappropriate laughter

  • Referring to one's self in the third person

  • Admitting guilt for other crimes or mistakes

  • Repeating the interviewer's questions (or asking to have the questions repeated)

  • Short answers

  • Excessive generalizations


Kinesic Interview Techniques

Physical guilt cues:

  • Hand over his mouth

  • Sit with his arms crossed and thumbs extended

  • General fidgeting of hands and feet

  • Lowered head and nodding


Kinesic Interview Techniques

Physical cues:

  • Guarded behaviors – crossing arms and legs, hands on face, leaning forward

  • Opening behaviors – signs of relief, leaning back, looking up

  • Confession behaviors might include slumping in one's chair, covering the belly area or repeatedly shifting in one's seat


Questioning Techniques

Reid Technique


Reid Technique

  • Very commonly used today

  • Three phases

    • Factual Analysis - get all the facts

    • Behavior Analysis Interview – baseline of suspect behavior and communication

    • Nine Step Interrogation – giving a moral justification theme that ends by creating a false dilemma with 2 alternate explanations – 1 less offensive


Reid Technique

  • Direct Confrontation – confidently accusing of crime

    • Support with facts even if some are guesses or even lies

  • Theme Development – give a reason they committed the crime

    • Watch victims response to each possible motive for body language (nodding head)

    • Smooth, non-threatening voice to build false sense of security


  • Reid Technique

    • Dominance – reject all denials

      • They begin to believe their own lie

      • Watch for lies of omission where they avoid the parts of the story that implicate themselves

  • Turning Objections into Justifications – Suspect usually mentions immoral/evil behavior or other reason they didn’t do it and you turn it back on them


  • Reid Technique

    • Expressing Empathy – Push on suspects guilt, “I know you are feeling so bad about this.”

    • Offer Alternate Theme – Return to step 2 and run through motives you think will hit home, watch close for response as suspect is usually submissive by this point


    Reid Technique

    • Alternate Question – pose a question that works with the theme you are on that gives the suspect 2 choices

      • Socially unacceptable

      • Lesser of the two, maybe even a “no big deal” spin

    • Confession – if they hit on either they’ll confess (make sure to have recorder and witnesses)


    Reid Technique

    • Confessing to others – useful to have them confess to family, more likely to confess later in process such as in court

      • Also complete written confession at this point


    Reid Technique

    • Technique has its share of critics

    • False confessions problematic with youth

      • Be sure to check validity or reasonableness of confession details


    Questioning Techniques

    Other Techniques


    Good Guy / Bad Guy Approach

    • Television has rendered this approach unusable.

    • Also called Mutt & Jeff in UK

    • Works OK with youth, naïve offenders

    • The bad guy may step over the line and become guilty of intimidation or coercion.


    Factual Approach

    • Requires Extensive Investigation

    • The answers to who, what, where, when and why must already be known by the interrogator.

    • The interrogator must be able to counter the suspects explanations or stories.

    • Usually lacks rationalization, which allows the suspect to save face while making an admission.


    Emotional Approach

    • Addresses reasons why suspect did what he or she did. It does not address circumstances or details.

    • The interrogator offers reasons and excuses.

    • The interrogator introduces a factual component which first establishes guilt, then allows the suspect to save face while confessing

    • Even though the suspect is guilty, the emotional approach often minimizes the seriousness of the suspects involvement and it can enhance the results


    Best Method to Use

    • The one that best fits the circumstances and the desired outcome.

    • One that the interviewer/interrogator is comfortable using.

    • A combination of any or all.

    • The one that obtains the information that you need.


    Legal Issues

    A confession is worthless if it is not legal…


    Self Incrimination: 5th Amendment

    • Limited to Testimonial Communications that Could Result in Conviction


    Does NOT apply to:

    • Body fluids — blood tests, breath tests, urine tests

    • Tissue samples for DNA testing

    • Identification procedures — photographs, line-ups, show-ups

    • Handwriting and voice exemplars

    • Movements — sobriety test, posing as directed, wearing clothing found at crime scene


    Can NOT be used:

    • Shield another person

    • Protect against civil liability


    Custodial Interrogation

    • Suspect must be informed of the Miranda rights prior to custodial interrogation

    • Custodial means the person is not free to leave


    Warnings are NOT required:

    • Temporary detention

    • Traffic citation issued without taking the violator into custody


    Interrogation includes both direct and indirect questioning


    Waiver of Miranda warnings must be knowing, intelligent and voluntary:

    • Knowing — suspect has been advised of the Miranda rights

    • Intelligent — suspect has sufficient intelligence to understand the Miranda warnings

    • Voluntary — no coercion can be used to obtain the waiver


    Subsequent Interrogations

    • If prior interrogation session violated Miranda rights:

      • Statements from improperly conducted session are inadmissible


    Subsequent Interrogations

    • Statements obtained at later session may be admissible

      • Must have proper Miranda warnings and waiver

    • Fruit of Poison Tree analysis — case by case determination if prior error taints later interrogation sessions


    Subsequent Interrogations

    • If prior interrogation session was conducted properly (including valid Miranda waiver) and it ended without suspect invoking Miranda right to remain silent or to have an attorney present:


    Subsequent Interrogations

    • May resume interrogation at any time

    • Suspect retains right to invoke Miranda at any time

    • New Miranda warnings required only if suspect may have forgotten his/her rights


    Subsequent Interrogations

    • If prior interrogation session ended because suspect invoked Miranda right to remain silent

      • Wait sufficient time to indicate rights will be scrupulously guarded

      • New set of warnings and a waiver are required


    Subsequent Interrogations

    • If prior interrogation session ended because the suspect invoked Miranda right to have an attorney present :

      • Must have attorney present at subsequent interrogation

      • If officer initiates the interrogation, waiver valid only if attorney present when waiver is made


    Subsequent Interrogations

    • If suspect requested to talk to the police — waiver of Miranda rights would be required BUT the waiver could be obtained without an attorney present


    Interviews & Interrogations

    What skills and techniques do Investigators use to get information from a person?


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