Deception in the Investigative, Interrogative, and Testimonial Processe

In the course of detection, deception occurs in three main levels which are the investigative, the interrogative as well as the testimonial processes. In the context of this paper we are going to go into detail about deception that occurs in interrogative, testimonial as well as investigative processes that characterize criminal justice. This paper is going to highlight persistent lying among other cheatings of police. It is going to emphasize on the idea that deception, which characterize criminal justice, should be approached with great prudence. Deception as a tactic has enabled law enforcement officers to get information from their suspects without the use of force. Sadly, deception has in some occasions led to false confessions and consequently prosecutions on false accusations.

Truth as a concept in criminal justice is the main objective of the investigative, the interrogative as well as the testimonial processes in criminal justice. Such processes are incorporated to obtain the exact sequence of happenings that occurred in a crime scene. The truth remains a very important aspect that can aid in ensuring that justice is delivered in an appropriate manner (Gudjonsson, 1991). The officials who are concerned with criminal justice play the role of being representatives of justice as well as truth. Deception can occur and in a number of occasions and has been observed to occur in all these processes. Sometimes deception occurs on the side of the officials charged with law enforcement duties. The police may sometimes explore deceptive or coercive modes of interrogation in a bid to get confessions (Bartolla  Hahn, 1998). In the event that a confession is retracted, the judges have to enquire about the circumstances and manner in which the confessions were achieved. They may even require knowing the technique of interrogation used on the suspect and the manner in which such tactics might have affected the suspect in question. Vulnerable suspects, or confused suspects as well as those who have been coerced into taking false evidence by investigators may have to make false confessions in their defense. It may, in some occasions, be necessary to have expert testimonies to ascertain the circumstances under which a non-voluntary confession might have been achieved, to help the judges in the course of delivering their verdicts (Ayling, 1984).

Deception in the Investigative, the Interrogative and the Testimonial Processes
A confession is a very important form of evidence in a law court. It surpasses many other evidences and may even replace their overall functions. Unites States prosecutors always seek confession, since it is very persuasive as evidence that can help in winning a court case. The justice system has always pursued the ambition of eliciting confessions and presenting them to the fact finders. Jurors and judges are most likely to convict a suspect by basing their decisions on confessions, since confessions are normally deemed to be compelling in their nature. Confessions are regarded as being greater than eye witness reports in the conviction process. This effect is persistent and as such the juror regards confessions as being compelling even when it is in their full knowledge that the confession must have been coerced and is probably non-voluntary (Ayling, 1984).

Confessions have been subjects of great controversy. The judges as well as the jurors are often supposed to ascertain whether confessions were obtained through coercion or if they are voluntary and also if the suspect is of sound mind. A confession is supposed to be disregarded if it has been established that it was achieved by means of force, through prolonged isolation, through food deprivation, through depriving the suspect of sleep, by threatening the suspect of possible punishments or bodily harm, promising the suspect of leniency or of immunity to prosecution. In the case that the police are demonstrated to have lied, used coercion to achieve confession or even fabricated evidence, the officials mandated with fact finding might have to evaluate the possibility of confession of an innocent person as a result of the lies and the deceptions made by the police. Jurors must ascertain whether the confessions are admissible, though, they hardly ever find police deception to be severe enough to undermine voluntariness. This leads to the possibility that deception and evidence fabrication may still be approved in the course of court rulings amid great criticism. Appellate process may later uphold convictions that occur on the basis of coerced confessions (Ayling, 1984).

Most people harbor the feeling that they may not be so vulnerable to confess through coercion, coercive environment is so pressuring that a suspect may even be forced to admit to an offense he did not commit. There is overconfidence that a suspect is not so likely to admit to something he is innocent of. This should not be the case as the juror may give undue weight to confessions which are made through coercion.

Deception may thus entail tricking criminals in the course of the investigative as well as the interrogative processes, so that law enforcers can be in a position to gather information which is enough to ensure the conviction of a suspect. The deceptions commonly employed by law enforcement agents and officers are mostly psychological in nature and have exhibited great success in entrapping suspected criminals to admit to particular crimes. It has been demonstrated that such deceptive approaches surpass physical ones in effectiveness as means of capturing criminals. It is disturbing to note that some of the law enforcement officers use certain hoaxes all in a bid to pin down their prey, the criminals. Deception, in the context of criminal justice, thus acquires a paradoxical nature. We note that the law enforcement officers involve themselves in some scam to be able to catch other scams (Ayling, 1984).

Deception is often tolerated to some extent the investigative process in the course of detection. During the interrogative process, deception is less tolerated but may be accepted in few specific circumstances (Gudjonsson, 1991). In the testimonial process and court proceedings, deception is not recommended and is totally abhorred. Every deception stage is characterized by some control measures which are usually very rigid in their nature. This can be portrayed in the context of the testimonial process in court hearings. The testimonial process is performed after taking an oath. This is generally meant to ascertain that any statement made by an individual in the testimonial process is deemed to be the truth and thus should never be altered or falsified. When law enforcement officers fail to deliver true statements in the courts, they are able to come up with reasons to support their deception, by basing themselves on alternative arrangements, like when the law enforcement officer plays the role of a witness to a prosecution and is thus not the defendant in the case. It is very important that law enforcement officials should subscribe to the rules of the law courts. They swear to tell the truth in the courts and thus deception should never be condoned. Regardless of the situation at hand, law enforcement officers are bound to deceive, this is more so when they express the concern that the evaluation of the justice system about the rules that govern the practices of law enforcement officers are mistranslated  and may affect their performances in the course of handling their duties (Kleinig, 1996).

When we consider investigative deception in detail, we realize that justice system tolerates deception in the course of investigations. In fact law enforcement officers, who are more inclined to investigative departments, are trained to deceive in the course of their work. In cases involving smuggled as well as illegal items that have been confiscated, we realize that detectives normally act as informers or employ informers to acquire the relevant information about such items. When we consider the justice system, we realize that carrying illegal items can just attract the same kind of punishment as selling them (Kleinig, 1996).

Only the judge determines if the confession that has been admitted is unquestionable. He also determines whether or not expert testimony is admissible. This leads to a scenario whereby non-voluntary confessions may be admitted or not depending on the judge in question and the manner in which he interprets the law. It is worth understanding the difference between coerced (non-voluntary) and false confessions. Not all confessions that are coerced are false and also not all confessions that are false are necessarily coerced. Defendants have always retracted confessions which are made in the course of police interrogations regardless of whether they are true or not. Some coerced confessions are probably true (Kleinig, 1996).

Police have always witnessed to the effectiveness of deception as well as coercion in the interrogative process. Such tactics that they employ in the course of interrogation have also been established to increase the chances having false confessions. It is not possible to know exactly how frequent coercion leads to false confession but there is a relationship between these two aspects. There are a number of instances that the law enforcement officers have had to employ deception as a tactic of getting information from suspects (Bartolla  Hahn, 1998). There is a high possibility that law enforcement officers come up with enticing propositions that make the suspect feel that confession would take them closer to freedom. There is a possibility that when such offers are enticing enough, even innocent suspects are likely to fall victims to the propositions and end up being convicted wrongfully. There is also likelihood that a confused suspect is likely to take false evidence from an interrogator who is deceptive. There is also the possibility that an interrogator may have false belief that the suspect in question actually committed the crime. This may force the interrogator to come up with deceptive methods of interrogation or worse still come up with false evidence for the suspect. Interrogators have in some instances deceived their suspects that their offenses were understandable and that they were not to blame for such occurrences. This has always been a very effective way to induce confession (Kleinig, 1996).

Deception is a psychological method that is commonly applied by detectives in the course of capturing or retrieving information from suspected criminals. It should not be confused with coercion which entails the use of force, though the two tactics are sometimes employed together. It is an inevitable truth that deception has always characterized the investigative, the interrogative as well as the testimonial process of justice system. While deception as a tactic has always been allowed in the investigative process, it has not received the same appreciation when it comes to the interrogative as well as the testimonial process. Law enforcement officers and detectives have even had formal training on the manner of deceiving their suspects to acquire the information they need. In the interrogative process, deception may be tolerated but only to a limited extent, though, in reality, it supersedes such extents and are able lure suspects into making false confessions. In the testimonial process, deception is not tolerated and information given is supposed to be accurate and true. This is the main reason that courts require the taking of an oath before giving any evidence.


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