Assignment 2: Seminar Questions
For this assignment, develop three open-ended discussion questions related to your research topic in a 1- to 2-page Microsoft Word document. Include with each question a short paragraph or two with your answer or response to the question.
These questions should generate critical thinking about your topic. Your questions might be developed around some of these topics:
Issues and further research to be addressed
Ramifications and applications for forensic services practitioners
Conflicting results and data
Prejudice and bias in the field about the topic
Arguments for and against results and conclusions
All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.
Developed three open-ended, clearly phrased questions designed to generate critical thinking about your topic.
Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in the accurate representation and attribution of sources; and displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Should officers hold lengthy interrogations with suspects in order to ensure they obtain all the information they need?
There is raging debate over the duration of time that a suspect should spend in the interrogation process. One faction argues that lengthy interrogation sessions are ineffective since they put more pressure on the suspect, which leads to false confessions. The other faction argues that lengthy interrogation sessions are necessary to obtain critical information from the subject. In addition, a lengthy interrogation session enables the interrogator to evaluate every aspect of a particular issue. If the suspect is giving false information, there is a high chance of giving contradictory evidence to the advantage of the interrogator. Some experts have suggested that three-hour time limits for each interrogation session may help in reducing the incidences of false confessions caused by stress and fatigue. This idea is controversial because law enforcement officers gain more information and understanding of the suspect’s characteristics when they interact with him/her for a longer duration.
Would it be appropriate to apply certain interview techniques such as presentation of false evidence to minors?
On many occasions, interrogators provide false evidence of witnesses in an attempt to get a confession from the suspect. However, various studies have issued warnings over the application of false evidence to minors. Some experts argue that minors may not have the confidence to protest the false evidence and may end up making false confessions (Kassin, Drizin, Grisso, Gudjonsson, Leo, & Redlich, 2010). The ramification of this is that interrogators must change their interview techniques to more appropriate ones that do not put too much pressure on suspects. Voluminous studies indicate that minors are particularly vulnerable to making false confessions. This is because of their underdeveloped brain. In particular, aggressive interviewing techniques are highly likely to put too much pressure on minors and lead to false confessions.
To what extent can interrogators tell whether a suspect is telling the truth or giving false statements?
There is controversy relating to how well interrogators or police can tell whether a suspect is giving the truth or false statements. The common view among law enforcement professionals is that they can be able to judge accurately whether a suspect should be interrogated or let free (Kassin et al., 2007). Law enforcement officials attribute the confidence to job experience and training programs that enables them to tell a truth from a lie. For instance, law enforcement professionals can make use of verbal and non-verbal cues to tell whether a suspect is lying. However, recent studies indicate that it is difficult to tell whether a suspect is lying by simply examining verbal or non-verbal cues. As such, it appears that the confidence among law enforcement professionals is misplaced.
Costanzo, M. A., & Constanzo, M. L. (2014). False confessions and police interrogation. In G. Bruinsma & D. Weisburd (Eds.), Encyclopedia of criminology and criminal justice (pp. 1547–1554). New York: Springer
Kassin, S. M., Drizin, S. A., Grisso, T., Gudjonsson, G. H., Leo, R. A., & Redlich, A. D. (2010). Police-induced confessions: Risk factors and recommendations. Law and Human Behavior, 34(1), 3-38. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9188-6
Kassin, S. M., Leo, R. A., Meissner, C. A., Richman, K. D., Colwell, L. H., Leach, A., & La Fon, D. (2007). Police interviewing and interrogation: A self-report survey of police practices and beliefs. Law and Human Behavior, 31(4), 381-400. doi:10.1007/s10979- 006-9073-5