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The Nine Steps of Criminal Interrogation

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1 The Nine Steps of Criminal Interrogation
The Reid Technique The Nine Steps of Criminal Interrogation

2 Nine Steps Interrogations should only be conducted of persons whose GUILT in the OPINION of the interrogator seems reasonably certain. That opinion might be based upon a combination of the factual evidence and the suspects reaction to the questions asked during the Behavioral Analysis Interview. Selection of interrogation procedures depends on: The personal characteristics of the suspect The type of offense committed The probable motivation for the commission of the offense The suspects initial behavioral responses

3 Classification of Offenders
On the basis of the above four considerations criminal defendants can be split into two broad classifications; Emotional offenders Non-emotional offenders

4 Emotional Offenders Definition: An offender who ordinarily experiences a considerable feeling of remorse, mental anguish, or compunction as a result of his offense. They have a strong sense of moral guilt, a troubled conscience, over what they have done. They are truly sorry, but not enough to just outright confess without assistance. As the interrogation goes on they will become more and more emotional. They will become more open (Arms and legs) and eye contact will drop off considerably. With emotional offenders a sympathetic approach will work best. Expressions of understanding and compassion for the difficulty the suspect finds himself regarding the offense and at the present time.

5 Non-emotional Offenders
Definition: These are persons who ordinarily do not suffer a troubled conscience over their offenses. They may act emotionally during the interrogation, but not to the same extent as the emotional offender. Their emotional reaction is more a result of being caught than it is remorse for having committed the act. During interrogation they will offer token denials that are easily stopped. Their denials will be weak and unconvincing. They are content to allow the interrogator to talk, thinking in part that as long as your talking they can’t slip up and make an admission.

6 Non-emotional Offenders
The most effective interrogation technique for non-emotional offenders is the Factual Analysis Approach. In the factual approach we appeal to the suspect’s common sense and reasoning rather than to his emotions. Remember, he doesn’t care about committing the crime; he only cares about getting caught so we have to convince him that he is caught and might as well confess.

7 Classification of Offenders
Most offenders do not fall clearly into one or the other of the two types. There is almost always some bleed over, so what we do is identify the primary type and concentrate on the method best used for that type while using some techniques that are effective with the other type as well. Given the two types of offenders Reid has developed their nine steps of criminal interrogation to be used on offenders whose guilt seems relatively certain, at least to the interrogator, we’re not talking probable cause, just reasonable suspicion.

8 Classification of Offenders
Keep two points in mind: The sequence of the steps is not important. We may follow each step in order, but we also may not. As each step is used, the interrogator must evaluate the suspects reaction to the step and be prepared to move to another appropriate step to include returning to those steps already used.

9 The Direct Positive confrontation
Step 1 The Direct Positive confrontation

10 Step 1 The Direct Positive Confrontation
Enter the room and stand about 4 or 5 feet from the suspect, looking down at him and make a direct and reasonably forceful accusation of guilt. Be polite, but not overly friendly. You must be able to display confidence in your position. Confrontation Statement: 1. Innuendo of evidence “I have in this file the results of our investigation into the (issue).” 2. Clear statement of involvement “The results of out investigation indicate that you are the one who (did issue).” 3. Avoid descriptive/emotionally charged phraseology Steal = took Rape = Had sex with Murder = Caused the death of

11 Step 1 The Direct Positive Confrontation
Pause for three to four seconds to observe behavior Cut off any denial and depending on the reaction of the suspect repeat the accusation. No matter what the reaction of the suspect you must now transition into the interrogation.

12 Step 1 The Direct Positive Confrontation
A deceptive suspect may stall or use delaying tactics: What did you say Are you saying I did this Who, me? How could I have done that? What? I did? I knew this would happen. I knew I shouldn’t have come down here.

13 Step 1 The Direct Positive Confrontation
Sit down and repeat the allegation followed by a statement concerning the importance of getting to the bottom of this situation. “As I said there is no doubt that you did this, but what I want to do is sit down with you and get this straightened out.” If the suspect reacts passively to the first accusation the second should be made as forceful as or even more forceful than the first. If he is still passive that is a clear indication of guilt. If the suspect is quite direct and forceful in denying guilt the second accusation should be toned down and the interrogator should proceed directly to step 2 understanding that he may be dealing with an innocent suspect.

14 Step 2 Interrogation Theme

15 Step 2 Interrogation Theme
Theme Development: A monologue presented by the interrogator in which reasons and excuses for the commission of the crime are offered that will serve to psychology (not legally) justify, or minimize the moral seriousness of the suspect’s criminal behavior. It reinforces the suspects existing justifications and rationalizations for the crime and creates an environment where he feels comfortable in telling the truth. An innocent person will reject the themes because the suspect has not previously justified or rationalized the behavior.

16 Step 2 Interrogation Theme
We cannot expect a person to tell the truth without giving him the opportunity to couple his admission with an excuse that allows him to save self-respect. Primary concept in theme development: Place the blame onto someone or something else other than the suspect as suggested by the available information. Secondary concept of theme development: Contrast what the suspect did to something much worse.

17 Step 2 Interrogation Theme
Do not make statements that could be perceived as promises of leniency. (legal problem) “I want to help you out of this thing.” “It would be best if you told me what happened.” “If you were drunk when this thing happened I’ll tell the judge and he’ll probably give you a break.” Avoid statements that imply inevitable consequences. “It doesn’t matter what you say, you’re still going to prison.” Suspect’s behavior indicates acceptance of theme. Rejecting theme: barriers – no eye contact. Accepting theme: barriers drop, head nods.

18 General Themes for Emotional Offenders

19 Theme 1: Sympathize with suspect by saying anyone else under similar conditions or circumstances might have done the same thing.    The emotional offender may take considerable mental relief and comfort from the investigators assurance that others would have done the same thing if in his position. This allows him to justify or excuse his behavior. This offers an added incentive to obtain the greater degree of relief and comfort that would be gained by a confession. In sex offense cases it might help to indicate that many men have fallen victim to the same urges. Hit and Run Cases: Many people panic in these situations, or, many people do not even realize they hit something, or, many people might think they hit a deer.

20 Theme 2: Reduce Suspects Feeling of Guilt by Minimizing Moral Seriousness of the Offense
Particularly effect in sex abuse cases. Help suspect believe that his particular sexual irregularity is not an unusual one. Let him know that persons have participated in sexual activities much worse than those the suspect participated in. Can also be used in theft cases where we point out that many people feel that it is OK to convert company property/assets/cash to their own use. Everyone does it to some degree, some much worse than you.

21 Theme 3: Suggest a Less Revolting and Moe Morally Acceptable Motivation or Reason for the Offense that that Which is Known or Presumed Accident versus intentional Sexual motivated death; Really was just into it for the sex and the death was just an accident. Really just meant to get warm due to the cold, but the fire accidentally got out of control. If it had not been for the alcohol/drugs you would not be in this trouble. The need for money to buy drugs made you do this.

22 Theme 3: Suggest a Less Revolting and Moe Morally Acceptable Motivation or Reason for the Offense that that Which is Known or Presumed Meant to rob the person but when they resisted and came after you, you had no choice but to hurt them in self-defense. Only planned to borrow the money/equipment/property and then pay it back later. Needed the money to benefit family, relatives, friends. Your suggesting a less revolting and more morally acceptable motivation or reason than the one that is known or presumed.

23 Theme 4: Sympathize with suspect by condemning others; victims, accomplice, anyone else (parents, teachers, cops). VICTIM: The blame or at least some of the blame falls on the victim. She treated you poorly and got what she deserved. She enticed you into committing the offense by the way she was dressed/acted/etc. He was always pushing other people around, he finally pushed the wrong person. Victim stole money from other people, so they deserved to be robbed themselves. Taking the money/property from the company was justified due to the companies mistreatment of its employees.

24 Theme 4: Sympathize with suspect by condemning others; victims, accomplice, anyone else (parents, teachers, cops). ACCOMPLICE: Have someone else share the blame, or better yet the majority of the blame. Shift the burden for the weight of the offense from your suspect to another suspect. I wouldn’t have done it if he had not talked me into it. Peer pressure.

25 Theme 4: Sympathize with suspect by condemning others; victims, accomplice, anyone else (parents, teachers, cops). ANYONE ELSE: Government or society for short changing the suspect. The suspects parents. The suspects poor educational opportunities. The rape suspects wife for not taking care of the suspects “needs” at home. Theft case: The spouse for living beyond the suspects means.

26 Theme 5: Appeal to suspects pride by well-selected flattery.
Let them know how impressed you are with their criminal ability. Typically the uneducated and underprivileged are more vulnerable to this theme.

27 Theme 6: Point out the possibility of exaggeration on part of accuser or victim, or exaggerate nature and seriousness of the event itself. Even though the suspect did something, it’s possible that the victim is exaggerating what was done. Statutory rape case: Tell the suspect the victim has alleged that he used force, he replies that is not true, she consented. In theft/larceny/embezzlement/burglary cases the investigator refers to the loss as being double or triple what was actually taken. Then let the suspect admit to a lesser amount. Tell the burglary suspect, that a victim also reported being raped.

28 THEME 7: Point out to suspect grave consequences and futility of continuation of criminal behavior.  
Tell them this is there best chance to come clean and get out of this business.

29 General Themes for Non-emotional Offenders

30 Non-emotional Offender
THEME 1: SEEK ADMISSION OF LYING ABOUT SOME INCIDENTAL ASPECT OF THE OCCURRENCE. A small lie gives a suspect a credibility problem. You lied once, why should I believe you now.

31 Non-emotional Offender
THEME 2: HAVE SUSPECT PLACE HIMSELF AT SCENE OF CRIME OR IN CONTACT WITH VICTIM OR OCCURRENCE. If you can put him there he then has a difficult time forming an alibi.

32 Non-emotional Offender
THEME 3: POINT OUT FUTILITY OF RESISTANCE TO TELLING TRUTH. In effect your telling him that you have him and the statement is just a formality. You may have to give up some evidence in order to convince him.

33 Non-emotional Offender

34 Specific Crime Themes Employee Theft Burglary/Robbery Poor pay
Overbearing boss Poor security Lack of controls Poor economy Someone else’s idea Everyone else is doing it. Victim Life circumstances Drugs Peer pressure Thrill and excitement Impulse

35 Specific Crime Themes Embezzlement Auto-theft
You always intended to pay the money back Poor internal controls Just having fun Peer pressure Needed a ride

36 Specific Crime Themes Insurance Fraud Sexual Assault/Harassment
Cover the deductible High premiums Cheated in the pass by the company Company can afford it Break even Blame victim Love Minimize duration of event Minimize force used Blame wife Blame alcohol Harassing was done in jest No sexual intent, just got carried away

37 Specific Crime Themes Arson for Profit Homicide Blame accomplice
Blame insurance company Blame poor business/income Blame unfair competition Blame poor business climate Victim Stress Peer pressure Situational alcohol drugs minimize role

38 Theme General Principles
While proposing theme Do not ask for reasons – suggest them Repeat, repeat, repeat Do not allow suspect to make long statements or explanations; try to maintain control of the interrogation. Themes are developed based upon the nature of the crime and the knowledge we have of the suspect through our investigation.

39 Theme General Principles
2. The reasons we suggest do not have to be the true reasons the suspect committed the crime In many instances, whether or not the suspect tells us the real reason he committed the act will not make any difference in the eyes of the law. After the suspect has accepted personal responsibility for committing the crime, his actual motives can be pursued. The true reason for the commission of the act may be to offensive for the suspect to face and may never be learned.

40 Step 3 Handling Denials

41 Step 3: Handling Denials
Definition: Any statement or action that contradicts or refuses to accept the truthfulness of an allegation. Objectives of step 3 Allow the subjects first denial – look for indicators of truth/lying Stop all following denials: Deprives them of psychological support of repeated denials The more they deny the harder it is to get to the truth Two hurdles – admit guilt and admit they lied to you Evaluate denials you cannot stop

42 Step 3: How to Tell a Denial in Coming
Verbal Interruption Phrases Non-verbal Interruption Gestures May I say one thing? If you give me a chance I can explain everything? Could I just say something? Would you please let me say something? Could I just tell you what happened? Suspect will put hands up Leans toward you Shakes head no Forced eye contact Lips start to part

43 Step 3: Tactics for Discouraging Weak Denials
1. Use suspects first name and a command phrase Dan, just a minute Jim, hold it Bill, hear me out Darlene, just a minute Lou, let me finish Elizabeth, before you say that

44 Step 3: Tactics for Discouraging Weak Denials
2. Combine with a physical gesture Hold your hands up Break eye contact and turn away Move in – slide chair 3. Follow up with “important message” (Command phrase) “Let me tell you the whole story.” (Command phrase) “There is one thing you should know.” (Command phrase) “Don’t you want to hear what we’ve got …” (Command phrase) “This is very important for you to hear.” (Command phrase) “Let me explain why I’ve said these things.” 4. Immediately return to you theme.

45 Step 3: Handling Denials
Handling truthful denials Keep going for awhile Truthful person will not let you go far before becoming upset. Words of denial will be crisp and clear

46 Step 3: Handling Denials
Handling deceptive denials Restate your confidence in the suspect’s guilt and reinforce the transition statement Change themes in an attempt to gain control and attention. Feign annoyance (Stop interrupting me, what I have to say is very important to you.) Change interrogators (If you’re convinced of the suspect’s guilt). As a last resort consider presenting evidence indicating the suspect’s guilt (If you’re convinced of the suspect’s guilt) .

47 Step 3: Handling Denials
Handling the suspect who gets out of the chair. Interrogator should remain seated Continue on with the theme, as if the suspect never stood up. 30 – 60 seconds after the suspect has stood up say, “(First name), what I’m saying is very important, why don’t you take a seat and just listen?” Return to theme

48 Step 3: Handling Denials
Guilty suspects: not too difficult to stop denial Not-guilty suspects: Innocent people for the most part will not let the interrogation go beyond this step.

49 Overcoming Objections
Step 4 Overcoming Objections

50 Step 4: Overcoming Objections
Definition: An objection is a statement that is proposed by the suspect as an excuse or a reason why the accusation against them is false. Suspects offer objections because Their denials have been ineffective It’s an offensive move to engage the interrogator in an argument Generally objections are offered after you have handled the denial phase successfully

51 Step 4: Overcoming Objections
Objections usually starts with an introductory phrase such as But I couldn’t have done this. I would never do something like that. It’s impossible for me to have done this. This whole thing is ridiculous I can’t believe you think I did this. We should draw out the objection. Why couldn’t you (first name)? Why is that, (first name)? Why not (first name)?

52 Step 4: Overcoming Objections Typical Objections
Economic - I have a lot of money in the bank. I just got paid. Religious/Moral/Emotional - It’s against my religion. I read the bible every day. I as taught better. Factual elements – I don’t even own a gun. I don’t have a key to that office. No one has ever given the combination to the safe. I don’t own a car. I have close friends who are ….. Security - There are security guards all over the place. I don’t have clearance for that area.

53 Step 4: Overcoming Objections
Try not to refute the objections Most objections a true If you refute them you can’t use them as a theme. Accept most objections with a statement of agreement or understanding. I’m glad you mentioned that… That’s exactly my point …… I certainly understand what you’re saying…. I was hoping you would say that …….. That supports what I’ve been saying about you all along. Use the objection to develop a theme.

54 Step 4: Objections Discuss the positive and negative aspects of the suspect’s objection Positive Aspects: Tell the suspect that if the objection is true it speaks highly of him (Suspect states) I would never do something like that. (YOU ask) Why is that (first name). (Suspect states) I don’t need money. I have money in the bank. (YOU say) I hope that’s true (first name) because that tells me this was a spur of the moment thing where maybe you needed the money right away and it was left out when it shouldn’t have been and you gave into temptation.

55 Step 4: Objections Discuss the positive and negative aspects of the suspect’s objection Negative Aspect: Tell the suspect if the objection is not true it speaks poorly of him. (YOU say) On the other hand (first name) if you didn’t have any money that tells me that this was (negative thing) a planned out thing and you were just waiting for an opportunity for the right time to do this. Return to theme

56 Procurement and Retention of Suspects Attention
Step 5 Procurement and Retention of Suspects Attention

57 Step 5: Procurement and Retention of Suspects Attention
Significance The suspect is psychologically withdrawing and mentally tuning out the interrogators theme. The suspects mind is focused on the consequences of telling the truth. The interrogator must maintain the suspects attention to the theme or the suspects fear of the consequences will prevent truthfulness.

58 Step 5: Procurement and Retention of Suspects Attention
Behavior signs of withdrawal The suspect is quiet, but not listening. The suspect puts up barriers to distance himself from the interrogator The suspect’s facial expressions are flat and emotionally uninvolved The suspect stares beyond the interrogator or off to the side The suspect is content to allow the interrogator to continue to talk

59 Step 5: Procurement and Retention of Suspects Attention
Captivating the suspects attention Move physically closer to the subject Move the chair in a couple of inches at a time in a natural manner. If the suspect responds negatively to the closer proximity, back off. Get the suspect mentally and emotionally involved by asking him a question such as, “Do you understand what I’m saying?” Attempt to establish eye contact. Abbreviate the theme concepts

60 Step 5: Procurement and Retention of Suspects Attention
Cautions Do not ask the suspects reason for committing the crime Don’t give up – keep repeating your theme. Do not give the alternative question too early; you must have his full attention.

61 Handling the Suspects Passive Mood
Step 6 Handling the Suspects Passive Mood

62 Step 6: Handling the Suspects Passive Mood
Significance The suspect is mentally debating whether to tell the truth. Some suspects become overcome with guilt and remorse. Other suspect’s simply give up and tell the truth. The suspect still needs an incentive to tell the truth (alternative question provides the incentive)

63 Step 6: Handling the Suspects Passive Mood
Watching for physical signs of defeat Suspect is less tense and more relaxed Suspect moves into head and body slump Suspect’s eyes are glassy and may look down. Suspect may take a deep breath (sign of giving up) Suspect may start to cry.

64 Step 6: Handling the Suspects Passive Mood
Our Response to the Passive Mood Intensify the theme – abbreviate to one or two key elements Comment on the suspect’s thoughts and behavior If crying, let them cry 10 to 20 seconds Don’t embarrass the male who cries Move closer to the suspect Lower your voice Give the alternative question (Step 7)

65 Giving an Alternative Question
Step 7 Giving an Alternative Question

66 Step 7: The Alternative Question
Definition: An alternative is a question asked of the suspect, in which the suspect is offered two incriminating choices concerning some aspect of the crime. Accepting either choice represents the first admission of guilt. Of course, the suspect always has a third option or rejecting both choices simply denying any involvement in the offense.

67 Step 7: The Alternative Question
Understanding an alternative Undesirable Aspect vs. Desirable Aspect Socially unacceptable vs. Understandable Repulsive action vs. Human weakness Negative behavior vs. What the suspect did wasn’t that bad Either choice is an admission of guilt, but the Desirable aspect is easier to accept and casts the suspect in a better light psychologically. The alternative question should not threaten consequences or offer promises of leniency.

68 Step 7: The Alternative Question
Examples of improper alternative questions “Do you want to cooperate with me and tell me what happened, or spend the next five to seven years behind bars.” “Do you want to be charged with first-degree murder, which will mean life in prison, or was this just manslaughter?” “Are you going to get this straightened out today, or do you want to spend a few days in jail?”

69 Step 7: The Alternative Question
Supporting Statements Definition: A statement made by the interrogator following the alternative question that is an extension of one side of the alternative question that subtly encourages the suspect to choose one of them. Two types: Positive Supporting Statement Negative Supporting Statement

70 Step 7: The Alternative Question
Positive Supporting Statements: “I can understand that….” Explains the desirable side of the alternative. Reinforces the suspect’s belief that there was some justification of what he did. Facial expressions and tone of voice should be understanding and sympathetic. Use soft, unrealistic language. Negative Supporting Statements: “I wouldn’t want to waste my time.” Explains the undesirable side of the alternative. Implies if done for the undesirable reason people will be unable to accept his behavior. Facial expressions and tone of voice should be harsh and stern. Use of harsh, realistic language.

71 Step 7: The Alternative Question
Presenting the Alternative to the Suspect Give a desirable and undesirable alternative. Give a positive of negative supporting statement. Keep repeating the alternative question concepts. Study the suspect’s eyes and facial expressions to identify when the suspect appears ready to accept the positive choice. Re-ask one alternative in a leading manner. OPTIONAL- Use physical contact to express sincerity.

72 Step 7: The Alternative Question
If the Suspect Gives a Denial to the Alternative Evaluate the intensity of the denial. Weak – stay with the alternative questions Strong Denial – Go back to themes

73 Examples of Alternative Questions
General (with supporting statements) Has this happened several times before, or is this just the first time? This is the first time, isn’t it? Did you plan this out for a long time beforehand, or was it just a short time? It was just a short time, wasn’t it? Did you go there with the intention of doing this, or did things just get out of hand? I think things just got out of hand, didn’t they Bill? Was it your idea, or was it someone else’s idea? I think it was someone else’s idea, wasn’t it?

74 Examples of Alternative Questions
Murder Cases (Shooting) Did you go over there with this plan in mind or did the argument just get out of hand and this thing happened? (Robbery/Homicide) Did you take the gun with you to shoot the teller, or did you just want to scare her? (Blunt Instrument) Did you plan on hitting this guy on the head, or did he duck into the blow.

75 Examples of Alternative Questions
Robbery (Bank Holdup) Did you know they were going to do this all along, or were you just along for the ride? (Warehouse) Did you set this whole thing up by yourself, or were you just curious as to what was there? Burglary Did you go there with the intention of stealing property, or were you just curious as to what was there? Did you go in there to take a few things, or were you going to hurt the people who live there?

76 Examples of Alternative Questions
Arson Did you intend to burn the place down or did you light the fire to stay warm? Mike, did you really plan to hurt the people in that building, or was it just to call attention to it being a firetrap? Did you approach someone about burning the building, or did they approach you?

77 Examples of Alternative Questions
Indecent Exposure Were you going to rape her, or did you just want to see what her reaction to seeing you would be? Did you show her your penis on purpose or were you just going to go to the bathroom? Indecent Liberties Did you grab both of her breasts, or did you just lightly touch her? Did you call her into the room, or did she just walk in unexpected while you were changing your clothes?

78 Examples of Alternative Questions
Rape Did you know she was that young, or did she tell you she was older? Did she make it clear from the start that she didn’t want to do it, or did she lead you on? Did you force her onto the floor, or did you lay down together? Did you tear her clothes off, or did she undress herself?

79 Examples of Alternative Questions
Embezzlement Did you really intend to keep the money all along, or were you going to try and pay it back? Did you use the money for (drugs, guns, women, gambling, etc.), or was it to buy food for your family? If you were to add everything up is there any way it could be (exaggerated figure), or are we looking at less than that?

80 Examples of Alternative Questions
Theft Was it your idea to take that equipment, or did the guys on the dock give it to you? Did you know that was good merchandise all along, or did you think they were going to throw it away? Did you take that guy’s paycheck because you wanted to hurt him, or did you know he could get another check from the company?

81 Examples of Alternative Questions
Drugs Were you going to sell those pills to the kids at the school, or were they just for yourself? Was this just for friends, or were you going to sell it for a profit?  Bribery Did you solicit him, or did he ask you for money? Did you know he gave you that money as a bribe, or did you think he was just thanking you? Were you going to keep that money for yourself, or were you going to use it as evidence against him?


83 Having Suspect Orally Relate the Details of the Offense
Step 8 Having Suspect Orally Relate the Details of the Offense

84 Step 8: Having Suspect Orally Relate the Details of the Offense
Definitions: Admission: Any act or statement made by the suspect that tends toward proving his guilt. Confession: A statement made by the suspect that accepts personal responsibility for committing the offense and discloses the circumstances and details of the act.

85 Step 8: Having Suspect Orally Relate the Details of the Offense
Statement of Reinforcement: A statement of encouragement that supports the suspect’s admission and begins to get the suspect talking. “Good Joe, that’s what I thought all along.” “Good Joe, that’s why it was important to get this straightened out.” Use it immediately after the first admission, e.g. “You only wanted to scare her, good Joe, that’s what I thought all along. That says a lot about you. You only wanted to scare her and not hurt her.”

86 Step 8: Having Suspect Orally Relate the Details of the Offense
Initial Questions Asked of the Suspect Purpose – To commit suspect to the crime Guidelines for initial questions: Phrase the question in such a way that the suspect will give brief answers. Make you questions short and brief. No legal or descriptive terminology should be used. Avoid leading questions. No written notes until the suspect has offered a full confession.

87 Step 8: Having Suspect Orally Relate the Details of the Offense
Examples of Initial Questions “What happened next/” “How many times did you do this?” “Then what did you do?” “Where is it now?”

88 Step 8: Having Suspect Orally Relate the Details of the Offense
Committing the Suspect to the Crime Purpose Develop dependent corroborative information Attempt to develop independent corroborative information Begin using realistic words for the offense

89 Step 8: Having Suspect Orally Relate the Details of the Offense
Types of Questions to Ask Develop details as to how the crime was committed. What did the suspect do before and after he committed the crime? Who did the suspect see before and after he committed the crime? Who did the suspect tell about his involvement in the crime? Where or how did the suspect obtain tools, weapons, keys, security code, etc.? What did the suspect do with evidence (weapon, clothing, money, property)? Have the suspect draw a sketch relating to the crime. If he says, “I can’t remember” come back with “What’s the next thing you remember?”

90 Elements of Oral and Written Statements
Step 9 Elements of Oral and Written Statements

91 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
Purpose of oral witnessing Two people could testify to the suspect’s verbal admission. Helps in preparing the suspect for making the written confession.

92 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
Choosing your witness Use someone who would not cause your suspect to be embarrassed. Choose a witness who will be credible in court. Using a non-law enforcement witness adds credibility

93 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
Tell the suspect you are going to step out of the room for a few minutes and will be right back. Immediately get the witness and advise them of the case information, the suspect’s admission and the witnesses role as a witness. Tell the witness where to stand. Suspect Witness Interrogator

94 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
Return immediately with the witness. When the suspect does not know them, give a brief title and last name of the witness. The interrogator repeats to the witness what the suspect has told him/her. Confirming Questions by the Witness Is what (interrogators name) said the way it happened? The witness should ask a few more confirming questions. Thank the witness and have them depart in preparation for the written statement.

95 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
Forms of Written Confessions Written by the suspect Demonstrates voluntary nature of confession Usually taken in non-felony cases Statement written by interrogator for the suspect Taken when suspect refuse or cannot write – Suspect first person Formal Statement Typed, with interrogator’s questions and suspect’s answers Video/Tape recorded If done, should be done for all suspects

96 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
General Guidelines for All Statements Once the admission/confession has been obtained and witnessed verbally, get it in writing as quickly as possible. Keep the suspect in the same room. Make sure the language of the statement will be easily understood by others. Use the suspect’s language; don’t worry about grammar and punctuation.

97 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
General Guidelines for All Statements If the suspect was given food or drink during the interview/interrogation have them note that in the statement. If a custodial interrogation the Miranda warning should be part of the statement along with a statement of acknowledgement. There should only be one version of the statement. If corrections are necessary make them on the original.

98 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
General Guidelines for All Statements Use separate confessions for separate crimes. Use separate confessions for separate suspects. Have the suspect correct and initial all errors. Use page numbers. Suspect initials before and after each paragraph and sign each page.

99 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
Statement Written by the Suspect Have him write it as if he was writing a letter to the victim or the judge explaining what happened. Do not dictate what the suspect should write. Do not spell out words for the suspect. Watch to ensure the suspect covers all elements of the crime. Have the suspect initial all changes or cross-outs.

100 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
Statement Written by the Interrogator Advise the suspect that you are going to write down exactly what he told you. Statement should be written in first person, past tense. Read the statement aloud as you write, and advise the suspect to correct any mistakes. After every sentence read it back to the suspect and ask, “Is that correct.” Have the witness in the room to testify what was said and that the suspect agreed to it. Make minor mistakes the suspect will have to correct orally or in writing.

101 Step 9: Elements of Oral and Written Statements
The Formal Statement Miranda Warning Identification of the suspect Identification of investigator and witnesses in the room Insure each elements of the crime is covered Open-ended questions in question/answer format. Corroboration What the suspect did before and after the crime Weapon used – present location of evidence Disposal of proceeds Treatment of the suspect during the interrogation Sketch/Photograph Have suspect sketch the crime scene Have suspect ID evidence in crime scene photo. Make obvious errors on each page for the suspect to correct Initial at start and end of each page and sign each page.

102 The Reid Technique Step 1: The positive confrontation – Our investigation has shown that you are the one who…… Step 2: Theme Development – Joe, I can understand how this might have happened….. Step 3: Handling Denials – Joe, listen to what I have to say……. Step 4: Overcoming Objections – Joe, I’m sure that’s true, but…….. Step 5: Keeping the Suspect’s Attention – Joe, I’m sure you care about this……. Step 6: Handling the Suspect’s Passive Mood – Joe, I’m sure this wasn’t planned out……. Step 7: Presenting the Alternative Question – Did you plan this out, or was it a spontaneous thing? Step 8: Bringing the Suspect into the Conversation – I was sure that’s what happened…… Step 9: The Written Confession

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