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Interview, Interrogation and the Miranda Law

What are the similarities and differences between an interview and an interrogation. Explain how you would prepare differently for each.

1. What did the court say about the methods used by police during interrogations prior to the Miranda ruling?

2. What case did the court agree to review concerning the voluntary nature of a confession?

3. What statute did Congress pass two years after the Miranda ruling?

4. Did the statute overrule the Miranda ruling?

5. How do you feel the courts should handle voluntary confession in light of the Miranda Law?

Solution Preview

1. What are the similarities and differences between an interview and an interrogation? Explain how you would prepare differently for each.

There are several differences between an interview and interrogation. An interview is conducted in a cordial atmosphere where a witness is more comfortable physically and psychologically. On the other hand, whenever a person is questioned in an uncomfortable atmosphere (interrogation room) where he is under the psychological pressure, it is an interrogation. Interrogator, in this case, has more of a psychological advantage than his suspect. Interrogation is a kind of psychological warfare between the interrogator and suspect. Only when an interrogator overpowers a suspect psychologically, he gets a confession or the fact of a case, which is not possible otherwise. Also, interviews seem to be more flexible and free flowing (e.g. conversations, with both asking questions and conversing), whereas interrogations are more structured, with active persuasive techniques being used by the interrogator. Also an interview is non-accusatory, whereas there is an accusation in the interrogation. The goal is different, with the interview being to gather information, and the interrogation to determine the truth about the crime (from attached article: Interview or Interrogation 2003.pdf).

Techniques for interrogating are different than those for an interview. For interrogations, for example:

a. Detectives typically begin by making eye contact and engage in idle conversation or chitchat with the suspect in a sparsely-furnished room. The Miranda warnings are given if they haven't been given already.

b. Next, the detective states that it is their job to discover the truth and they usually share some piece of evidence in the case at this point.

c. Negative incentives are usually used first -- in an attempt to get ...

Solution Summary

In about 1150 words, this solution discusses the concepts of interviews, interrogations and several aspects of the Miranda Law. This response is detailed and provides a few references throughout.