Interrogations CJE Chapter 5
From last class… • There are two theories as to where police values originate: • Subculture Absorption (unconscious/passive) • Professional Training (conscious/active) • Police are called on to both reform values (media pressure) to “protect and serve” while also partner with homeland war protection. These requirements create undue tension.
…to this class • Confessions are the most powerful evidence for incrimination. • Most techniques for acquiring confessions, though legal, are unethical.
Context The natural tendency of employee is to meet and exceed their employers requirements. If the job of the police officer is to make arrests and clear crime, then they will meet and exceed those tasks.
A TENSION: Clearing crime/arrest quantity Just as in corporate settings where the task is to maximize profit by any means necessary, police use seemingly unethical means to their end goal of maximizing arrests. But, in doing so, they fail to clear crime. Hence, the two tasks of police work can be in tension if the value of “any means to an end” is encouraged in police subculture.
Example: Ronald Kitchen ARREST: Police arrested Kitchen for murder. Using force and trauma in interrogation, police were able to get a confession from Kitchen, who then served 21 years in jail. CRIME CLEARING: Do to unduly coercive interrogation techniques, police created a “false positive” a person who has some properties of a criminal (confession) but is not a criminal. Hence, undue coercive techniques lead to low crime clearing success.
TENSION: Crime clearing/arrests ARREST QUANTITY BRUTE FORCE COERCION CRIME CLEARING
BRUTE FORCE INTERROGATION ....is also pretty unethical.
Mitigation of Interrogation: Amendments • Brown v. Mississippi (1936)—”Due Process” strengthened 4th Amend. “The state may not permit an accused to be hurried to conviction under mob domination—where the whole proceeding is but a mask—without supplying corrective process.” • Miranda v. Arizona (1966)—”Miranda Rights” strengthened 5th/6th Amend.
Mitigation of Interrogation: Amendments Problem 1: While both ‘due process’ and ‘Miranda rights’ protected suspects from brute force interrogation techniques, they have become legal loopholes, thereby reducing “crime clearing” AND “arrest quantity.” E.g. If an officer forgets to read off Miranda rights during an arrest, it could be grounds for the release of the suspect even if there is strong evidence against them.
Mitigation of Interrogation: Amendments Problem 2: Because neither “due process” nor “Miranda” forbade specific interrogation techniques, unethical forms of trickery/deception is a common means of getting a conviction. When deception is used, the VOLUNTERINESS of the confession can be reduced for an unreliable confession. E.g. Good cop/bad cop, overstating evidence, etc.
Psychological Interrogation Techniques E.g. 1 Role Playing 1) People tend to reveal information when in a hospitable environment. 2) Officers create a friend-role character and often people reveal information they otherwise would not reveal.
Psychological Interrogation Techniques E.g. 2 Good Cop/Bad Cop 1) People tend to reveal information when in a hospitable environment. 2) Officers create a friend-role character and often people reveal information they otherwise would not reveal.
Psychological Interrogation Techniques E.g. 3 Evidence Fabrication 1) People tend to reveal information when they believe there is a benefit to themselves for doing so. 2) Officers suggest to suspects that they have a strong evidential case: partnering accomplice testimony, weapon, blood, photograph, dna, etc. 3) Suspects are led to believe that such evidence needs to be explained and this motivates suspects to share information they wouldn’t otherwise share.
Problem: Unreliable Confessions • Psychological deception techniques undermine the value of Miranda rights—suspects are tricked into giving information to which they have a legal right to not disclose!!!!
Psychological Interrogation Techniques • Other examples include: • Exaggeration of offense • Minimization of offense • Misrepresenting identity (acting as medical practitioner which has non-disclosure rules, when in reality they do not have such rules.) • False Promises
Summary Q: Miranda Rights Subverted??? Does the use of psychological manipulation to get confession/information from suspects undermine Miranda Rights? Ethically? YES (May affect Jury deliberation) Legally? NO
How many? If you had a choice in the matter, how many guilty suspects would let go to avoid wrongly convicting an innocent person? Free 2 guilty > Convicting 1 innocent Free 10 guilty > Convicting 1 innocent Free 100 guilty > Convicting 1 innocent Free 1000 guilty > Convicting 1 innocent