Rutgers Law

In the 2001 of the manual Inbau et al. (2001) continue to support their views from earlier editions and make the claim: “It must be remembered that none of the steps is apt to make an innocent person confess and that all the steps are legally as well as morally justifiable” (Inbau et al. , 2001, p. 212). In this 2001 edition there is a chapter involving the possible extraction of a false confession but overall rejects much of the studies and research supporting this notion and suggest that only suspects impaired in some way could be influenced to confess if subjected to such techniques (Inbau et al.

, 2001). The behavioral identification process takes a central part of the Inbau et al. (2001) method of interrogation. Based on the verbal and nonverbal behavior of the suspect, investigators are expected to form an opinion regarding the suspect’s honesty. As stated by the authors: “An interrogation is conducted only when the investigator is reasonably certain of the suspect’s guilt” (p. 8). Police officers often believe they can easily determine the truthfulness of criminal suspects as early as the preinterrogation interview and they usually do so with high levels of accuracy (Inbau et al.

, 2001). The 1986 case of Tom Sawyer of Florida could be used to exemplify the risk associated with this early judgment and perception of guilt. Tom Sawyer’s next door neighbor’s body was found naked in her bed. According to authorities death was caused through manual strangulation. Sawyer was accused of sexual assault and murder primarily because of the “nervous demeanor” he displayed during the interrogation. Later it turned out that Sawyer was a recovering alcoholic often experiencing social anxiety (Leo & Ofshe, 1998).

After a long interrogation, lasting from about 4:00 p. m. to 8:00 a. m. the next morning, Tom Sawyer finally accepted responsibility for the crime. Moreover, Tom recalled detailed information of the crime, remembering specifics on his alleged sexual encounter with the victim. When an autopsy was performed, it revealed that the victim was never sexually assaulted. The confession was ultimately suppressed due to coercion and violation of Miranda (Leo & Ofshe, 1998).

Speaking about police interrogation practices and their conformance to the law, it should be noted that practically, police interrogation have been regulated by the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution (Leo, 1966). In the early 1900s, a number of cases were adjudicated where black defendants were said to have confessed to crimes after being subjected to physical abuse and violence by police (Kassin, 1997). In the landmark case Brown v.

Mississippi (1936) three black men were taken into custody for a murder that had occurred. They were not allowed to speak to an attorney and were later threatened, beaten, and physically tortured. Confession statements were extracted from each one of the three men; based solely on these statements they were later convicted and sentenced to death in a two-day trial. The U. S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the convictions of all three suspects, holding that such police methods violated the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Leo, 1996).

The Court stated that confession evidence acquired through physical torture cannot be admissible at trial and therefore must be excluded (Brown v. Mississippi). Due process prohibits the use of confessions when they are extracted through the use of physical brutality and abuse, and although most people are presumed to know their rights under the law, a procedural guard had to be set to protect the accused from an unjust treatment. In Escobedo v. Illinois (1964), Escobedo was not once informed of his constitutional rights to remain silent.

When the Supreme Court decided the case it ruled in Escobedo’s favor. The decision stated that where a police investigation has become more that just a general inquiry and has focused on a particular suspect who has been taken into police custody and is being subjected to an interrogation by the investigators, and where the suspect has made a genuine request to speak to an attorney and has been denied an opportunity to do that, the suspect has been denied the assistance of counsel, which was in violation of the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution (Escobedo v.

Illinois, 1964). Although the Escobedo court did not state that police have to warn all suspects during custodial interrogation of their constitutional rights it provided the road that led to these requirements. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution states, “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself” (V Amendment U. S. Constitution). The Fifth Amendment provision created the basis of the Supreme Court’s decision in Miranda v. Arizona (1966).

Under the adversarial system of justice practiced in America, a defendant may choose not to speak to interrogators and present evidence that may ultimately help establish the government’s case. The Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination allows the accused suspect to remain silent and be informed of his or her constitutional rights to silence and to an attorney when being interrogated by police in a custodial setting (Miranda v. Arizona). A criminal suspect, regardless of whether charged in a federal or a state court, has no obligation to speak to interrogators and in doing so assist the prosecution in proving their case.

However, police officers are usually well trained in prevailing over a suspect’s unwillingness to speak to police (Inbau et al. , 2001). Therefore, a number of landmark judicial decisions have been made that call for law enforcement officials to present criminal suspects under custodial interrogation with some legal guidance. This includes not only guidance on the right to remain silent but also on the right to an attorney, who in case of the suspect who is indigent would be provided by the state, free of charge (Miranda v Arizona).

The administration of these warnings must be presented in a way the person in custody can easily understand. Confessions can be allowed into evidence and considered when determining guilt only if they are proven voluntary (Kassin, 1997), and given freely and knowingly (White, 1998). The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself (V Amendment U. S. Constitution) unless the person has made a free and voluntary decision to do so.

Prior to Brown v Mississippi (1936), police frequently used pressure and also physical brutality, such as beating, hanging, and isolation in an attempt to extract a confession. According to Miranda v. Arizona (1966), the “third degree” methods and police violence and brutality were quite common in the police practice. The Miranda decision and its power as a procedural safeguard for suspects in custody have constantly been put into question. Critics of Miranda believe that confession and conviction rates have decreased due to the warning-and-waiver requirements, hence causing real criminals to be set free (Cassell & Hayman, 1996).

On the other hand, proponents of Miranda argue that the actual declines are insignificant, that 4 out of 5 suspects waive their rights, and more importantly the benefits to the public have increased, as well as, individuals’ understanding of their constitutional rights (Leo, 1996). REFERENCES Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U. S. 478 (1964). Gudjonsson, G. H. (2003). The psychology of interrogations and confessions: A handbook. Chichester, England: John Wiley. Holmberg, U. , & Christianson, S. (2002).

Murderers and sexual offenders experiences of police interviews and their inclination to admit or deny crimes. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 20, 31-45. Inbau, F. E. , Reid, J. E. , Buckley, J. P. , & Jayne, B. C. (2001). Criminal interrogation and confessions (4th ed. ). Gaithersberg, MD: Aspen. Kassin, S. M. (1997). The psychology of confession evidence. American Psychologist, 52, 221-233. Leo, R. A. (1996). Miranda’s revenge: Police interrogation as a confidence game. Law and Society Review, 30, 259-288. Leo, R. A. , & Ofshe, R.

J. (1998). The consequences of false confessions: Deprivations of liberty and miscarriages of justice in the age of physiological interrogation. The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 88(2), 429-496. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436 (1966). Russano, M. B. , Meissner, C. A. , Narchet, F. M. , & Kassin S. M. (2005). Investigating true and false confessions within a novel experimental paradigm. Psychological Science, 75(6), 481-486. White, W. S. (1998). What is an involuntary confession now? Rutgers Law Review, 50, 2001 2057.