Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Interviewing and the Detection of...

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Chapter 8: Interviewing and the Detection of Deception An interview is a person-to-person conversation for the purpose of obtaining information about a crime or its circumstances. Interviews should be conducted in private. The actual interview only begins after the investigator has made the person interviewed comfortable and has established rapport I. Interview Essentials a. Privacy i. About 80 percent of all interviews are informal and take place outside of an office setting ii. Privacy can be obtained by conducting an interview inside a patrol vehicle, in another room of a house, or any place where other witnesses or outsiders cannot overhear and possibly be drawn into the discussion iii. Reverse transference or retroactive interference , which occurs when a witness overhears others witnesses discussing their observation and then takes on some, if not all, of their information as his or her own iv. Privacy enhances the bonding process between the witness and the interviewer. This bonding process, known as rapport building b. Rapport Building i. Rapport is defined as developing a harmonious relationship with another person. This process begins by making the person to be interviewed comfortable ii. The person being interviewed should always be treated with respect and the investigator should be sympathetic and empathic when necessary. A person who is comfortable with the investigator and the interview process is more likely to become an active participant and to supply more information than someone who wants to terminate the experience as soon as possible because he or she is uncomfortable iii. Prior to beginning the interview, the investigator should take a few minutes to discuss subjects unrelated to the crime
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c. Competency and Credibility Issues i. No minimum age is set to testify in court 1. Very young person must know the difference between right and wrong and that it is wrong to tell a lie 2. The issue for an elderly person would be soundness of mind, which can be addressed with a few questions to determine if this person is rooted in reality and if his or her answers to questions are responsive ii. No minimum intelligence requirements are set for a witness to a crime 1. The potential witness should be able to focus and not be easily confused iii. Credibility issues involve considerations that would make the witness’s testimony unbelievable iv. Conditions existing at the time of the crime, such as weather or lighting conditions that could affect a person’s ability to perceive an event d. Interview Structure i. The interview of witnesses contacted at the scene of a crime is a
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Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Interviewing and the Detection of...

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