Police interrogations are the primary reason many actually innocent persons go to jail and are wrongfully convicted. The tactics frequently used in police interrogations are nothing more than psychological devices as well as some physical to coerce or (schmoose) a person into confessing a crime in which they more than likely have not committed and have no knowledge of prior to the police actually spoon feeding them details.
When the police interrogate a suspect and you are placed in an interrogation room the room itself and the tactics used are to get you to confess. This is called persuasive coercion. Almost sounds very Mafioso right? And if at this point what I am about to say should make you very uncomfortable when (taking that little ride downtown).
The psychological weapons used against you, and how they are used against as well as why are listed here as follows there are the steps used to in the interrogation of allegedly of guilty suspects;
1.) Combining the evidence of strategy with "direct confrontation" often known as "supported directed accusation". This can lead to false confessions because under standard operating procedure by the police details will be communicated to the to the suspect at the beginning of the interview. It then becomes damn near impossible to know with absolute certainty that the suspect is repeating the information that was spoon-fed to them by the police or actually is confessing to the alleged crime. Talk about being unethical and blurring the line.
2.) Theme development to lessen the moral implications of the alleged crime. In English that means tell the suspect that anyone else in that same situation or circumstances may have done the same thing. It is the classic "anyone in your shoes would've done it thinking". This goes far beyond ethical and professional limits. By doing this you begin to reduce the suspects feeling of guilt for the offense by lessoning its moral importance. So they say things like (other people committed worse crimes, what you did was not so bad) or (I understand you had no other choice). Doing this they give the suspect a morally valid reason for the crime thusly making a person feel (free) about confessing to a crime they may not have committed. Using flattery also works in this situation as well, they state how little your involvement in the crime may or may not have been. So basically what happens, make you feel good about confessing and how much better it feels then before you know it you've confessed details which they fed to you, and now you are in the system.
3.) When a suspect is constantly giving denials, law enforcement does not like this at all. It is extremely undesirable because the police lose the psychological advantage. This advantage then goes to the suspect. So it is then stopped by the interrogator at that point. They'll say things like (Stop lying, you know you did it we know).
4.) Guilty suspects will move from plain denials to objections. At this point the suspect is the inferior mentally. So at this point interrogators move quickly because they see this advantage and do not want to lose their mental edge over the suspect.
5.) When the police move in closer to the suspect while in the interrogation room, they are not doing this to better hear you speak trust me. By moving closer, touching the suspects hands gently, using first names, and even having strong eye contact. All of these are psychological devices used to relax you into a false confession. And those become extremely difficult to prove in court later, but we will examine this later. At that point the suspect becomes more alert listening to the officers suggestions, and therefore becomes more likely to believe in the picture they are painting now matter how much it may not have happened.
6.) When the interrogator exudes signs of understanding and sympathy and urges to the suspect to tell the truth, this is a joke. The primary focus is to play upon the weakness in order to breakdown the remaining residual weakness in the suspect and fattening them up for the kill or admission of guilt later on. They will say things like (If you will cooperate with us, no one will know about this. You may be working for use for years. If you do a good job you will get probation, deferred adjudication, community service, or maybe nothing). Keep in mind this is all bullshit at this point. Its all the more to get you mentally raped, because you are about to get fucked at this point always keep that in mind. They are there to make the collar. Does not matter who actually commits the crime just that someone goes down for it end of story.
7.) So after they've coaxed you into telling the (their truth of what happened)after spoon-feeding you intricate details, holding your hand to comfort you, making the crime seem morally OK. The suspect is presented with two alternatives for the crime. Both alternatives are worded in such a way that one acts as a face saving choice and the other as some deep dark callous grotesque motivation. Another words one is the pretty moral reason,the other the grime ridden horrible monstrous reason. The psychological reasoning behind this is done because it is easier for the suspect to admit what they did wrong at the time of the interrogation because the suspect gets to explain why it was done. It is that simple.
8.) Having the suspect tell of various details of the crime at this point serves as the confession the police have created for the suspect. This is done because it was predicated already in the following steps. They have made the suspect accept one of the alternatives from earlier and thus making the suspect self incriminate, and after spoon feeding the details along with getting the suspect to accept on of the alternative theories this now becomes a full blown confession at this point. Which ironically enough is 100/100 the video that is shown to juries when the person is confessing after all of this has taken place. They don't show all the events leading up till the final cut of that alleged confession video of feeding the suspect details. And they will not show you that, because it is unethical either way you slice it and they know that.
9.) Finally they get the person to literally sign off on the confession. A signed confession is much better than an oral confession legally. Even though all of what they have done to get a person to confess goes far beyond the border of ethical behavior.
The psychological effects of placing a person through this kind of psychological warfare if you will are staggering.
Post Traumatic Stress, Apathy, Internal conflict, withdrawal, depression, and even stroke.
Interrogation rooms are usually set up in the following manner;
Windowless room with no air conditioning, no locks on the door, an observation room directly next to the adjacent room.
Most people know what the "Miranda Warnings or Rights" are like right to remain silent, right to counsel. However what must people do not know is that these rights only apply to custodial suspects. Custodial suspects are people deprived of freedom in any significant way so says the SCOTUS. Now if and when a custodial suspect tells the interrogator that he does not wish to make or sign a statement or they want a lawyer. The interrogator must stop asking, recording anything further.
Whenever a person is picked up for questioning but there is no probable cause to arrest is lacking. They have to tell you and make clear you are not being arrested, and you do not have to go the police station unless you are willing to do so and once there you are free to leave if you so choose. The only time an interrogation may actually take place is when a person has been advised of their rights and then by their own choice wishes to speak. Unless the police have probable cause they have no legal right to interrogate you. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) also declared in Miranda in addition to self incrimination the suspect must be advised they have a right to counsel before and DURING the interrogation.
Questions such as (Do you know why you are here?) are 100% invalid. The courts consistently state that such questions elicit incriminating answers from suspects. And they then therefore are considered to be within the prohibition of Miranda when asked of a custodial suspect when they are not preceded by warnings and a waiver. They cannot promise you leniency any more they can promise to use force because this will also elicit and induce an innocent person to confess to a crime they may not have committed. They cannot promise you cooperation will result in a lesser sentence being imposed. That is solely up to the JUDGE or JURY. This is most unethical as well, and illegal. So if they promise you that, it is also BULLSHIT. Just be a wise guy keep your mouth shut say nothing at all.
Coercive persuasion is the systematic the application of psychological techniques and social influence in an organized way. Or simply known as brainwashing. These interrogation techniques are so psychologically overwhelming the average law abiding citizen can be made to confess to a crime even though they have done nothing wrong at all. They create such a bond of mental control that it is far more powerful and effective the putting a gun to your head and making you confess that way. The goal is to hold the suspect to the point of maximum mental stress before inducing a powerful psychosis. It disables a persons sense of self to induce anxiety and emotional distress and allows for cognitive confusion.
Six condition exist in order to induce this;
OBTAINING SUBSTANTIAL CONTROL OVER AN INDIVIDUAL’S TIME AND THOUGHT CONTENT (CONTROL OF ENVIRONMENT)
SYSTEMATICALLY CREATING A SENSE OF POWERLESSNESS IN THE PERSON
MANIPULATING A SYSTEM OF REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS
MAINTAINING A CLOSED SYSTEM OF LOGIC
MAINTAINING A NONINFORMED STATE EXISTING IN THE SUBJECT
THE SUBJECT IS FORCED TO ADAPT IN A SERIES OF STEPS, EACH SUFFICIENTLY MINOR SO THAT THE SUBJECT DOES NOT NOTICE .
AND DOES NOT BECOME AWARE OF THE GOALS OF THE PROGRAM UNTIL LATE IN PROCESS (IF EVER)
MANY EXPERIENCE DIFFERENT DEGREES AND DURATIONS OF DISTRESS, DISABILITY, AND DYSFUNCTION FOLLOWING SUCH PROGRAMS
In United States V Lee(1982) The California Supreme Court found that "when a person is subject to coercive persuasion without his knowledge or consent. He may develop serious and sometimes irreversible physical and psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, self mutilation, and suicide".
Still think the police are your friend?
This is the breakdown of this immense psychological pressure;
THE ASSAULT ON IDENTITY (SUPPORTED DIRECT ACCUSATION)
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF GUILT (PREPLANTED EVIDENCE)
THE SELF-BETRAYAL (ADMISSION)
THE BREAKING POINT, (TOTAL CONFLICT AND BASIC FEAR)
LENIENCY AND OPPORTUNITY (FOR COOPERATION")
THE COMPULSION TO CONFESS (PLEA BARGAIN)
THE CHANNELING OF GUILT (PLEAD GUILTY)
LOGICAL DISHONORING (SENTENCING)
PROGRESS AND HARMONY
THE FINAL CONFESSION
REBIRTH RELEASE, TRANSITION, LIMBO (FELON)
According to www.justicedenied.org and www.truthinjustice.org ,
Saul M. Kassin, professor of Psychology at Williams College, a leading researcher into false confessions,
divides them into three categories:
1. Voluntary, involving no external pressure.
2. "Coerced-compliant" in which the person realizes he is not guilty but confesses to the crime to receive a promised reward or avoid an adverse penalty.
3. "Coerced-internalized" in which an innocent suspect is induced to believe he or she is guilty.
Police and courts often doubt that the second two cases actually exist.
Dr. Kassin and his student, Catherine L. Kiechel, designed a lab experiment demonstrating how innocent people can be led to a false confession, to the point that some may even become convinced they are guilty. (1,3) In the study, college students were asked to type letters on a keyboard as a researcher pronounced them. Some researchers read out the letters quickly (67 per minute), others slowly (47 per minute). The subjects were warned to not touch the ALT key, because a bug in the testing program would cause the computer to crash and lose all the data. One minute into the test, the computer was manually caused to crash. In half the tests, the researchers said they had actually seen the subject depressing the ALT key.
At first, the subjects correctly denied hitting the key. The researcher then hand-wrote a confession and asked the subjects to sign it. The penalty would be an angry telephone call to the subject by Dr. Kassin. One hundred per cent of the subjects who had typed the letters quickly, and who were told by the researcher that they had been observed hitting the ALT key, signed the confession; 65% of the subjects believed they were guilty; 35% even confabulated non-existent details to fit their beliefs. Overall, 69% signed the note and 28% believed they were actually guilty.
University of Michigan and supervised by a law professor there, Samuel R. Gross. They say that the number of exonerations is quite small when compared with the number of convictions during the 15-year period. About 2 million people are in American prisons and jails. The study identified 199 murder exonerations, 73 of them in capital cases. It also found 120 rape exonerations. Only nine cases involved other crimes. In more than half of the cases, the defendants had been in prison for more than 10 years.
The study's authors said they picked 1989 as a starting point because that was the year of the first DNA exoneration. Of the 328 exonerations they found in the intervening years, 145 involved DNA evidence.
In 88 percent of the rape cases in the study, DNA evidence helped free the inmate. But biological evidence is far less likely to be available or provide definitive proof in other kinds of cases. Only 20 percent of the murder exonerations involved DNA evidence, and almost all of those were rape-murders.
Some 90 percent of false convictions in the rape cases involved misidentification by witnesses, very often across races. In particular, the study said black men made up a disproportionate number of exonerated rape defendants.
The racial mix of those exonerated, in general, mirrored that of the prison population, and the mix of those exonerated of murder mirrored the mix of those convicted of murder. But while 29 percent of those in prison for rape are black, 65 percent of those exonerated of the crime are.
Interracial rapes are, moreover, uncommon. Rapes of white women by black men, for instance, represent less than 10 percent of all rapes, according to the Justice Department. But in half of the rape exonerations where racial data was available, black men were falsely convicted of raping white women.
"The most obvious explanation for this racial disparity is probably also the most powerful", the study says. "White Americans are much more likely to mistake one black person for another than to do the same for members of their own race".
On the other hand, the study found that the leading causes of wrongful convictions for murder were false confessions and perjury by co- defendants, informants, police officers or forensic scientists.
A separate study considering 125 cases involving false confessions was published in the North Carolina Law Review last month and found that such confessions were most common among groups vulnerable to suggestion and intimidation.
The authors of the Michigan study offered dueling rationales for the murder exonerations, and both reasons, they said, were disturbing.
There may be more murder exonerations, they said, because the cases attract more attention, especially when a death sentence is imposed. Death row inmates represent a quarter of 1 percent of the prison population but 22 percent of the exonerated.
That suggests that innocent people are often convicted in run-of-the-mill cases. Indeed, the study says, "if we reviewed prison sentences with the same level of care that we devote to death sentences, there would have been over 28,500 non-death-row exonerations in the past 15 years rather than the 255 that have in fact occurred".
The study offered a competing theory, as well. Mistakes, it said, may be more likely in murder cases and far more likely in capital cases.
"The truth, the study concludes, is clearly a combination of these two appalling possibilities".
If you still do not believe me, just remember these words.
"Evidence of innocence is irrelevant".--Mary Sue Terry, former AG Commonwealth of Virginia