Criminal Interview, Interrogation and Confessions

Criminal Investigation - Interviews, Interrogations, and Confessions

The second half of the Principles of Investigations class focuses on Criminal Interviews, Interrogation and Confessions. The investigator uses these skills, techniques and strategies towards the goal of clearing the innocent and eliciting confessions from the guilty.

Investigators should leave no detail or nuance unexplored, not only of the suspect's behavior, but that of your own as well. In this segment of the class you will learn how to spot and interpret verbal and nonverbal behaviors of both deceptive and truthful people, and how to move toward obtaining solid confessions from guilty persons. We will study both, "The Reid Technique" which is built around basic psychological principles and Paul Ekman's "Facial Action Coding System" (FACS). FACS is a taxonomy of human facial expressions of emotion that are not culturally determined, but universal to human culture and thus biological in origin. These universal expressions include those indicating anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, contempt and surprise. These expressions are observable as "microexpressions" and "macroexpressions" and reliably detect deception.

You will learn how to obtain answers from a witness, a victim, or a suspect and how to interpret these answers with the utmost accuracy. Combining the Reid and Ekman techniques provides you the insight and understanding of the effective and proper way a suspect should be interrogated and the safeguards that should be in place to ensure the integrity of the confession.

Dr. Michael Thompson
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