The primary purpose of any interview or interrogation is to bring out the truth.
The investigator conducts the interview or interrogation in order to do the
Corroborate or disprove statements.
Verify inferences derived from physical evidence.
Link physical evidence or a suspect with a particular case.
Eliminate a suspect.
Identify perpetrators, accomplices, or additional witnesses.
While the primary goal of your interviews and interrogations is to get the truth,
you also need to establish facts.
These facts are reported in a person's
statement. You might get an admission or a confession in a suspect's or an accused
person's statement. To help distinguish one from the other, all are defined below:
A statement is an assertion (written or oral) of facts that are
pertinent to an investigation. Statements are secured from anyone having knowledge
of an offense.
Admission. An admission is a self-incriminating statement that falls short of an
acknowledgement of guilt.
A confession is a complete acknowledgement of guilt.
For example, suppose A says B robbed him.
Also, C saw B rob A, and saw B at a
later time spending a lot of money.
Each person, A through C, made a statement
concerning the offense. If B said that he was at the scene, but did not commit a
robbery, then he made an admission. If B said that he did rob A, then he made a
Self-incrimination is the giving of evidence or answering of
questions during an interview or interrogation in a way that would suggest guilt.
Such revealing of information could lead to criminal prosecution.
However, if a
suspect or accused has made incriminating statements concerning the crime before
being advised of his rights, you must tell him that the statements cannot be used
against him. You must also say that the statements do not obligate him to answer
further questions. The procedure for advising a suspect or accused of his rights
is discussed later on in this lesson.
Throughout questioning, the investigator must refrain from making or implying
promises of benefits or rewards, or threats of punishment. As an investigator, you
must avoid coercing, unlawfully influencing, or inducing a person to make a