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Projective Analysis of Unwitting Verbal Cues 9. Nonverbal Behavioral Assessment Interviewing Children and the Mentally Challenged Report Writing Torture and False Confession Pre-employment Interviewing Passenger Screening with Verbal and Nonverbal Cues Legal Consideration The Integrated Interrogation Technique Statements, Recordings, and Videos The Instrumental Detection of Deception The Search for Truth.

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Appendix A. Forensic Assessment Interview B. We are always looking for ways to improve customer experience on Elsevier. We would like to ask you for a moment of your time to fill in a short questionnaire, at the end of your visit. If you decide to participate, a new browser tab will open so you can complete the survey after you have completed your visit to this website. Thanks in advance for your time. Skip to content. Search for books, journals or webpages All Pages Books Journals. View on ScienceDirect. Hardcover ISBN: Imprint: Academic Press.

Published Date: 18th June Page Count: This is the opportunity for a suspect to offer an alibi or a denial of the crime and an alternate explanation or exonerating evidence. It can be very difficult for a suspect to properly explain away all the evidence. Looking at the progression of the event, an interrogator can sometimes ask for additional details that the suspect cannot explain. The truth is easier to tell because it happened, and the facts will line up. In contrast, a lie frequently requires additional lies to support the untrue statement.

Examining a statement that is believed to be untrue, an interrogator can sometimes ask questions that expose the lies behind the original lie. This is particularly true of persons who are first-time offenders and particularly young offenders who have committed a crime against a person. Observing the suspect during this progression, a suspect affected by guilt will sometimes exhibit body language or facial expressions of concern or remorse. Responses, such as shoulders slumping, head hung down, eyes tearing up, or avoiding eye contact, can indicate the suspect is ashamed and regretful of the crime.

Observing this type of response, an investigator may move to a theme of conversation that offers the suspect the opportunity to clear their conscience by taking responsibility for their actions and apologizing or by taking some other action to right the wrong that has been done. Suspects who have been arrested will sometimes be willing to provide an additional explanation of their involvement or the events to reduce their level of culpability or blame for the crime.

In cases where multiple suspects have been arrested for a crime, one of those suspects may wish to characterize their own involvement as peripheral, sometimes as being before the fact or after the fact involvement. Examples of this would be a person who left the door unlocked for a break-in to take place or merely driving the getaway car. These less involved suspects hope to gain a reduced charge or even be reclassification as a witness against their co-accused. The arrested suspect in a criminal investigation waiting in custody for interrogation has plenty to think about.

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Even the most experienced criminals will be concerned about how much evidence the police have for proving their connection to the crime. In the process of presenting a suspect with the opportunity to address the evidence that has been collected, an additional strategy can sometimes be engaged where there is a large volume of incriminating evidence or undeniable direct evidence, such as eyewitnesses or strong forensic evidence for circumstantial connections of the suspect to the crime.

In such cases, if the interrogator can reveal the evidence in detail to the suspect, this disclosure may result in the suspect losing hope and making a confession to the crime. Although this tendency to surrender to overwhelming evidence may seem illogical, it does happen.

Effective Interviewing and Interrogation Techniques

Sometimes, this surrender has more to do with conscience and shame of the crime, but other times, the offender has just lost the energy to resist what they perceive to be a hopeless fight. More recent research has shown that the stronger the evidence, the more likely a suspect was to confess Gudjonsson, As noted at the beginning of this chapter, the goal of ethical interviewing, questioning, and interrogation is to elicit the truth, and the truth can include statements that are either inculpatory confessions of guilt or exculpatory denial of involvement in a crime.

Whenever an investigator has interrogated a suspect, and a confession of guilt has been obtained, that investigator needs to take some additional steps to ensure that the confession can be verified as truthful before it goes to court. These additional steps are required because, although the investigator has not used any illegal or unethical techniques, the court will still consider whether the accused, for some reason, has confessed to a crime they did not commit.

A skilled defense lawyer will often present arguments alleging that psychological stresses of guilt or hopelessness from exposure to overwhelming evidence have been used to persuade a suspect to confess to a crime they did not commit. In such cases, it is helpful for the court to hear any additional statements made by the accused, such as those that reveal that the suspect had direct knowledge of the criminal event that could only be known to the criminal responsible.


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In police investigations, there are many details of the criminal event that will be known to the police through their examination of the crime scene or through the interview with witnesses or victims. This hold back evidence is not made part of reports or media release, and is kept exclusively to test for false confessions. Confessing to the crime is one thing, but confessing to the crime and revealing intimate details is much more compelling to the court.

Regardless of the effort and care that investigators take to not end up with a false confession, they still occur, and there are some more common scenarios where false confessions happen. It is important for an investigator to consider these possibilities when a confession is obtained. These situations are:. Over the past century, with the Juvenile Delinquents Act , the Young Offenders Act , and the Youth Criminal Justice Act , there has been an increased recognition in Canada of the need to treat young offenders differently than their adult counterparts.

Recognizing the special needs of youth, each of these acts moved to treat young offenders less punitively and with a greater attention to rehabilitation. Further, under the Youth Criminal Justice Act YCJA , young offenders are regarded as a special category of suspect, and some very strict rules apply to the process of arresting, questioning, or interrogating a young offender.

For instance, the YCJA requires the notification and inclusion of parents or guardians in situations where a youth is being subjected to action for an investigation or a charge for an offence. As well, any young persons must have their Charter Rights explained by the investigator with language appropriate to their age and level of understanding. This means that the officer must talk with and assess an accused youth to determine their ability to understand their rights before taking their statement.

During this examination, the court will determine from the evidence whether the youth fully understood the rights being explained to them. Good evidence of understanding can be achieved by asking the youth to repeat, summarize, or paraphrase their understanding of the rights that were explained to them.


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In addition to the right to instruct counsel, as afforded to any adult under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms , a youth must also be afforded the additional right of being given a reasonable opportunity to consult with a parent or, in the absence of a parent, an adult relative or any other appropriate adult chosen by the young person, as long as that person is not a co-accused or under investigation for the same offence.

Further, in addition to this right, there is also an obligation on the police investigator to provide independent notice to the parent of a detained young person as soon as possible. The requirement for notice to the parent is a separate obligation for police, and it requires specific notification of a the name of the young person, b the charge against the young person, and c a statement that the young person has the right to be represented by counsel. If a parent is not available to receive this notice, it may be given to a person whom the investigator deems appropriate.

In the case of some young people, this could be an older sibling, an adult caregiver, or, for those in the care of Social Services, a social worker in charge of the young person care. In any case, these requirements and others specific to young offenders are spelled out under Sec of the Youth Criminal Justice Act :. Government of Canada, Criminal acts can be complex and persons committing crimes can be devious. For every law prohibiting a criminal act, there are those who seek to avoid prosecution or to subvert the law completely.

Criminal law has evolved into the current model to reflect the different types of crimes that are possible, and this evolution now includes laws known as ancillary offences. For an investigator, part of the investigative skill set is learning to recognize the evidence and fact patterns that constitute these ancillary criminal acts. These offences include:. For any of these offences, an investigator needs to be aware of the types of information and evidence that will support these charges. Sometimes an investigation will identify a suspect participant where there appears to be a nexus of involvement to the crime, but that nexus is not sufficient evidence of a criminal act to support an arrest or a charge.

In these cases, an ancillary offence may be appropriate. A conspiracy to commit any offence requires an agreement between two or more persons to commit a criminal act. Dostal, All that is required to establish the offence of conspiracy is evidence that two or more persons conspired together and formed a common intent to commit the targeted offence. As an interesting side note to the conspiracy charge: if two persons conspire together to commit any offence outside of Canada and that offence would be an offence if committed in Canada, they may be charged with conspiracy Government of Canada, In other words, two persons may conspire in Canada to commit a murder in the United States, and, even if that murder is not committed, they could be charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

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Conspiracy opens the door to many possibilities where persons not otherwise chargeable may be held accountable for their part in a criminal act or in a proposed criminal act. Consider the situation where an armed robbery of a bank occurs and three suspects flee the scene as police respond. The last suspect to exit the bank, William Tooslow, is stopped and arrested by police responding to the alarm, but the other two suspects escape. As the investigation proceeds, no additional evidence is found to identify the two robbers who escaped, but searches of Mr.

Although there is not enough evidence to place Mr. Faster in the bank at the time of the robbery, he could still be charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery, while Mr. Tooslow is charged with the actual offence of armed robbery.

During an interrogation, a suspect may attempt to minimize their involvement in the crime and admit only to participating in making the plan. An investigator needs to recognize that this is still a chargeable offence. Unlike conspiracy, attempting to commit an offence only requires one person planning the crime to commit the target offence. For the offence of attempting to commit an offence to be completed, there must be evidence to show that the accused went past the point of mere planning and did something or omitted to do something in the furtherance of their plan.