Interview, Interrogation, and the Miranda Admonishment Method
Solving cases and delivery of justice requires an efficient collection of relevant and valid information. Investigators acquire evidence through interviews and interrogations. It is crucial to know when each is needed and how to conduct each effectively and efficiently. This paper aims to describe the parts of an interview and discuss how it differs from an interrogation. It also defines the proper Miranda admonishment method and explains investigators’ problems when they ignore suspects invoking rights.
The first is the Interview Planning and Preparation stage. Planning forms the foundation of the interview. It helps an interviewer identify all the information that he/she aims to acquire from the interviewee. It also increases the likelihood of attaining all relevant details (Vullierme & Boyle, 2020). Part one involves three significant steps. First, the interviewer reviews the case to gather information from all possible sources. The interviewer needs to ensure that they have as much knowledge about the crime as they can acquire. That begins by identifying all witnesses at the scene of a crime. They also need to prepare to handle information that may come up during the interview. The second step involves determining whether or not the perpetrators or witnesses have any criminal record. The last step consists of viewing the scene, if possible (Gosselin, 2007). Creating an interview plan ensures that it covers all relevant areas. Proper preparation and planning help avoid misinformation, which compromises the results of the interview.
The second part is the establishment of psychological content. In this phase, the interviewer ensures control of the interview process by deciding on its place and time (Gosselin, 2007). An ideal location for an interview should be accessible. It must also have the necessary equipment. All witnesses should be separated to avoid discussions that may lead to bias. They should also be comfortable with the location. That encourages them to cooperate. The interviewer should create a rapport with the witness or suspect and promote a safe environment. That optimizes the chances of achieving the desired results. He or she should begin the interview with an introduction and a brief explanation of the reason for the interview (Vullierme & Boyle, 2020). The interviewer must ensure that they remain in control without resulting in dominance. That begins by engaging the interviewee to encourage communication (College of Policing, 2020).
Questioning is the final stage of the interview process. It is the part where the interviewer collects all the information needed to solve a particular case. An interview plan helps the interviewer choose the most relevant questions for optimal results (Vullierme & Boyle, 2020). He/she should ask both closed and open-ended questions and monitor the interviewee’s body language for signs of deception, resistance, or submission (College of Policing, 2020). The interviewer should use multiple, forced-choice questions and lead questions throughout the interview to gather as much information as possible. It is also advisable to remain calm and composed throughout the interview (Vullierme & Boyle, 2020).
Interviews and interrogations differ in terms of purpose and the tactics employed. Interviews are used during investigations to gather information about a particular case. They are conducted to help police gather sufficient evidence to build a case (McDannel, 2016). Interrogations are used to get confessions from criminals where police have adequate evidence that connects a suspect to a particular crime (McDannel, 2016). Unlike interrogations, interviews are non-accusatory, and they are conducted with both witnesses and potential suspects (Hoofman, 2005). Interrogations are conducted after gathering reasonable evidence that connects suspects to the crime under investigation (Gehl & Plecas, 2017). An interrogation may require the use of special tools and techniques which may be dangerous. That may result in a high-stress environment and, therefore, a false confession (McDannel, 2016). Unlike interviews, interrogations are conducted with the suspects in custody. Thus, the latter may require Miranda Warnings (Walsh, 2020).
The Miranda warning gives a suspect under custody the right to remain silent for anything that they say can be used against them in the court of law. It also informs the suspect that they have the right to an attorney, and one can be provided for them if they cannot afford to hire an attorney (MirandaWarning.org, 2020). It aims at protecting the individual from self-incrimination. However, they must still answer questions like their name, address, and age. Police should only give the Miranda Warning before interrogation but not an interview. An arrest can occur with or without the Miranda Warning. However, the police must Mirandize the suspect before any interrogation following the arrest (MirandaWarning.org, 2020). However, any suspect who is believed to cause immediate and significant danger to the public can be arrested and questioned before reading the Miranda rights. That is known as the Public Safety Exception (Justia, 2018).
An individual under interrogation has the right to invoke their Miranda rights by indicating that they choose to remain silent or want an attorney. In such a case, the interrogation must cease until the individual’s attorney is present (MirandaWarning.org, 2020). However, the court cannot use any investigators’ information with an improper admonishment against the suspect in court. The evidence derived from the interrogation becomes inadmissible (FindLaw, 2019). In that case, the investigators must prove that they found such evidence without the suspect’s statements.
College of Policing. (2020). Investigative interviewing. Retrieved from https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-content/investigations/investigative-interviewing/
FindLaw. (2019). Miranda Warnings and Police Questioning – FindLaw. Retrieved from https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/miranda-warnings-and-police-questioning.html
Gehl, R., & Plecas, D. (2017). Introduction to Criminal Investigation. British Columbia: Justice Institute of British Columbia.
Gosselin, D. (2007). Smart Talk Contemporary Interviewing and Interrogation [Ebook] (pp. 13-15). New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc. Retrieved from http://cbafaculty.org/Interviewing/SmartTalk.pdf
Hoofman, C. (2005). Investigative Interviewing: Strategies and Techniques [Ebook] (1st ed., pp. 1-15). International Foundation for Protection Officers and the respective author(s). Retrieved from https://www.ifpo.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/interviewing.pdf
Justia. (2018). Miranda Rights. Retrieved from https://www.justia.com/criminal/procedure/miranda-rights/
McDannel, M. (2016). Police Interviews versus Interrogation: ‘Fairbanks Four’ Case Illustrates Important Distinction – Innocence Project. Retrieved from https://www.innocenceproject.org/police-interviews-versus-interrogation-fairbanks-four-case-illustrates-importantdistinction/#:~:text=Interviews%20are%20used%20in%20an,witness%20to%20supply%20the%20evidence.&text=Interrogations%2C%20on%20the%20other%20hand,the%20suspect%20to%20the%20crime.
MirandaWarning.org. (2020). What Are Your Miranda Rights?. Retrieved from http://www.mirandawarning.org/whatareyourmirandarights.html#:~:text=The%20wording%20used%20when%20a,the%20right%20to%20an%20attorney.
Vullierme, J., & Boyle, M. (2020). A brief introduction to investigative interviewing [Ebook] (1st ed., pp. 21-28). Council of Europe. Retrieved from https://rm.coe.int/guide-to-investigative-interviewing/16808ea8f9
Walsh, B. (2020). Interviewing Versus Interrogation. Retrieved from http://www.pacwrc.pitt.edu/Curriculum/522SprvsryIsssInChldSxlAbs/Hndts/HO31IntrvwngVrssIntrrgtn.pdf
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