Perceptions of suspect statements: a comparison of exposed lies and confessions

Confrontational interrogation techniques seek to produce a confession, while investigative interviews focus on information gathering and/or catching suspects in lies. Confessions obtained during interrogations are potent for securing a defendant’s conviction. However, the goal of investigative inter...

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Published in:Psychology, crime & law
Main Author: Brimbal, Laure (Author)
Other Authors: Jones, Angela M. (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2018
In:Psychology, crime & law
Year: 2018, Volume: 24, Issue: 2, Pages: 156-176
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:Confrontational interrogation techniques seek to produce a confession, while investigative interviews focus on information gathering and/or catching suspects in lies. Confessions obtained during interrogations are potent for securing a defendant’s conviction. However, the goal of investigative interviews is not to produce a confession, yet it is unknown if their outcome (e.g. exposed lies) is as effective in court as that of an interrogation (i.e. a confession). In two studies, mock jurors read case summaries wherein a defendant was accused of murder and terrorist activities. In both cases, the statement a defendant made during a police interview was manipulated: The defendant either lied or not and either confessed or not. Participants then rendered a verdict and were asked about the probative value of several pieces of supporting evidence. Results were similar across both studies with more convictions when the defendant lied, confessed, or did both relative to when the defendant produced a statement without lies and without a confession. Furthermore, we found that perceptions of supporting evidence mediated the effect of exposed lies on culpability, but this was not the case for confessions. These findings illustrate the positive qualities of presenting exposed lies in court, diminishing the need for a confession.
ISSN:1477-2744
DOI:10.1080/1068316X.2017.1390111