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Criminal Interrogation: A Modern Format for Interrogating Criminal Suspects Based on the Intellectual Approach

NCJ Number
Warren D. Holmes
Date Published
165 pages
This book provides a step-by-step procedure for interrogation of suspects.
The framework for every Supreme Court decision regarding criminal interrogation has been the Fifth Amendment. All criminal investigations should begin with case analysis, which are the facts contained in offense reports, supplemental reports, witness testimony, lab reports, and the input from fellow investigators. Case analysis helps the interrogator formulate a theory as to how the crime was committed. This theory becomes the format for questioning. It will often reveal a mitigating factor that the interrogator can use to help the perpetrator rationalize his act and prompt him to tell the truth. The largest margin of error in the criminal justice system is caused by faulty witness identification. Guilt should not automatically be assumed just because the suspect has been identified. False confessions are caused by prolonged and unchecked interrogations. The reasons why people don’t confess are practical and psychological. Questioning during interrogation should be done in a non-accusatory manner so as not to alienate either an innocent or guilty person. Questioning should be chronological, designed to determine state of mind, differentiate between memory recall and fantasy, provide verification, test the logic of the story, reveal the use of defense mechanisms of projection and disassociation, force an evaluation of a story, and determine post-act behavior. Questioning should end with the all-encompassing question: “Is there anything you didn’t tell me because I didn’t ask you the question?” People lie using certain tactics and making predictable statements. Observing body language, case analysis, and the interpretation of a suspect’s story and remarks is an eclectic approach to lie detection. The factors in the sex drive that are primarily responsible for sex crimes are aggressiveness and the need for recognition satisfied by control of the victim. Most criminals, regardless of the method of operation, are sexual offenders. Murder, espionage, armed robbery, arson, and burglary cases are discussed. The three types of closure, the formal confession as court evidence, the interrogation of the accomplice, and commercial theft cases are also covered.