interrogation

interrogation

[in-ter-uh-gey-shuhn]

In criminal law, process of formally and systematically questioning a suspect in order to elicit incriminating responses. The process is largely outside the governance of law, though in the U.S. relatively elaborate safeguards have been placed on police interrogatory powers in order to protect the rights of the accused.

Learn more about interrogation with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Interrogation or questioning is interviewing as commonly employed by officers of the police and military.

The interviewed is also referred to as a "source". It is used for getting information from a suspect after a crime scene.

Interviewing is not necessarily to force a confession, but rather to develop sufficient rapport as to prompt the source to disclose valuable information.

Interrogation around the world

Britain

Ireland

USA

Cold War War On Terror Torture is now officially banned from use at Guantanamo Bay and all other U.S. camps for illegal combatants. Army regulations state that such treatment during interrogation crosses the boundary between acceptable methods of gaining information and torture.

US Air Force General Jack L. Rives (Deputy Judge Advocate General) advised a US government task force that many of the extreme methods of interrogation would leave service personnel open to legal sanction in the US and foreign countries.

US officers were previously allowed interrogation techniques classified as torture including:

See also How to Break a Terrorist: Veteran FBI interrogator Jack Cloonan has broken some of al Qaeda’s toughest operatives. In this special interview with FP, he shares some of his methods for making a terrorist tell all. Foreign Policy Television (FPTV) video.

Nazi Germany

Inquisition

Japan

Resistance training

Resistance training is often a prerequisite for some personnel since prisoners of war (POWs) routinely undergo military interrogation.

Interrogation techniques

There are multiple possible methods of interrogation including deception, torture, increasing suggestibility, and using mind-altering drugs.

Suggestibility

The methods used to increase suggestibility are moderate sleep deprivation, exposure to constant white noise, and using GABAergic drugs such as sodium amytal.

Reid

One notable interrogation technique is the Reid technique. However, the Reid technique (which requires interrogators to watch the body language of suspects to detect deceit) has been criticized for being too difficult to apply across cultures and is impracticable for many law enforcement officers.

Deception

Deception can form an important part of effective interrogation. In the United States, there is no law or regulation that forbids the interrogator from lying, from making misleading statements or from implying that the interviewee has already been implicated in the crime by someone else.

Torture

Interrogations may involve torture, which various human rights organizations claimed to be ineffective at producing accurate information but is effective in getting false confessions which might be useful for political reasons for the officer and organization in question by raising the number of successful investigations. However, some argue that one of the reasons torture endures is that torture does indeed work in some instance to extract information/confession, if those who are being tortured are indeed guilty and provide details of crime/plot only the guilty party could produce. Richard Posner, a highly influential judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, further argue that "If torture is the only means of obtaining the information necessary to prevent the detonation of a nuclear bomb in Times Square, torture should be used—and will be used—to obtain the information. ... no one who doubts that this is the case should be in a position of responsibility.

Other

Movement for increased recording of interrogations in the US

Currently, there is a movement for mandatory electronic recording of all custodial interrogations in the United States. "Electronic Recording" describes the process of recording interrogations from start to finish. This is in contrast to a "taped" or "recorded confession," which typically only includes the final statement of the suspect. "Taped interrogation" is the traditional term for this process; however, as analog is becoming less and less common, statutes and scholars are referring to the process as "electronically recording" interviews or interrogations. Alaska, Illinois, Maine, , Minnesota, and Wisconsin are the only states to require taped interrogation. New Jersey’s taping requirement started on January 1, 2006. Massachusetts allows jury instructions that state that the courts prefer taped interrogations. See Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista, 813 N.E.2d 516, 533-34 (Mass. 2004). Commander Neil Nelson of the St. Paul Police Department, an expert in taped interrogation, has described taped interrogation in Minnesota as the "best thing ever rammed down our throats."

See also

Notes

External links and sources

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