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Deception is the intentional manipulation of another person’s belief system by presenting them with false information (Kasin, 2009). False confessions are a possible outcome of an interrogation if it is not conducted correctly. Professor Natali argues that lying to a suspect is not always acceptable, despite the fact that it is legal according to a wide range of judicial rulings (McKee, 2014). He argues that discretion is required on the part of the investigator while using deception during the questioning process (McKee, 2014). English law on police interrogation may help us determine how urgently the latter needs updating. Police officers may use deception questioning potential suspects if they believe that doing so at this stage of the investigation would not significantly harm their case (Kasin, 2009). If you lie to good people, you risk losing their confidence, which is crucial if you want their assistance in the future.

The modern framework for police interrogations in England, established by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984 (PACE), focuses on the search for truth (Kasin, 2009). English courts have held that the intentional misrepresentation of evidence is unfair and violates the law (Kasin, 2009). In evaluating the need for reform in American police interrogation policy, English law provides a valuable model for comparison.

To put it simply, the law prescribes, generates, and nullifies. Its influence is so great that society is almost subservient to it. Despite the fact that society is the law’s primary concern, the law is fully capable of regulating society and bringing about necessary reforms. Due to its multifaceted nature, social transformation encompasses a wide range of issues. It becomes obvious that people will find a way to circumvent the law-abiding population at some time. An American judge by the name of Benjamin Cardozo once observed that the law shouldn’t be seen as a rigid tool for effecting social change, but rather as a malleable tool for achieving the common good.

In its most basic sense, law is a set of laws enacted to maintain social order and prevent anarchy. Keeping order in a society is important because it ensures that its inhabitants can continue to function as a cohesive unit and, in turn, contribute to positive social progress. People of different social strata, religious beliefs, ethnicities, and sexes all coexist in a community. The only way to ensure that these individuals are treated equally, regardless of their backgrounds, is via the application of legislation. When such change is for the better, though, everyone in a society can’t help but celebrate it. The power of the law to effect social transformation is unrivaled. There can be no social or political stability in a lawless society.

Because of the diversity of its members, every given civilization is likely to be dominated by a single group who use their superior resources (money, power, and prestige) to oppress the subjugated members of its population. It’s not unusual for societies to go through situations like this; it happens all the time. And this isn’t the only problem that society faces; there are many more where it came from. Poverty, substance addiction, corruption, prostitution, rape, lynching, child marriage, acid attacks on children, child labor, discrimination based on caste, race, color, gender, etc. are just a few of the most prominent. Through the introduction of new laws and regulations, the legal system propels society forward, removing any and all barriers to progress. While it’s true that the law has played a role in facilitating these shifts in society, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that, far from diminishing, social problems have only become more urgent over the last few years. The moment has come for people to put the laws already in place to good use, allowing them to have the desired impact of bringing about a genuine shift in societal norms. So, the answer to the issue of how the law might be utilized as a tool for bringing about social change resides with society and its people.

We are also in the midst of a period of heightened public interest in police accountability and systemic reform initiatives designed to restore the public’s confidence in law enforcement. There has never been a better chance in history to make positive changes, and reforms to improve the police force’s real and perceived honesty toward the people seem especially timely and important at the present time. The confidence between police and the communities they serve may be restored if police institute modifications to the questioning process to improve openness. By following the examples set by these and other officers, the police have begun to earn back the confidence of the community and the legal system. However, when the use of physical force declined, deceit gradually replaced it as the preferred method of exerting authority.

When police are permitted to lie to detainees during interrogations, it undermines public confidence in their authority. We echo the calls for an end to lying in police interrogation rooms. This would be an invaluable resource for addressing racial prejudice in interrogation techniques and the possibility of false confessions, as well as for reducing the occurrence of false confessions themselves. In the 1990s, the United Kingdom shifted to nondeceptive and nonconfrontational tactics, although confession rates did not decrease. Similarly, effective interrogation techniques are becoming more widely accessible to police officers in the United States. These reforms would show the public that police officers in the United States are committed to addressing racial biases and building trust within their communities, both of which would have a positive impact on the number of wrongful convictions and the public’s perception of the criminal justice system as a whole. We are at the juncture when action must be taken.


Khasin, I. (2009). Honesty is the best policy: a case for the limitation of deceptive police interrogation practices in the United States. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 42(3), 1029+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A199537521/EAIM?u=minn4020&sid=bookmark-EAIM&xid=6308101dLinks to an external site.

McKee E. (2014) The Use Of Deception And Other Ethical Implications In Interrogation Methods Retrieved from Temple Law Review » The Use of Deception and Other Ethical Implications in Interrogation Methods

STUDENT REPLY #2 Stacey Whitlow


“Although deceptive interrogation practices are generally allowable, they are not without limits. For instance, courts tend to be intolerant of police misrepresenting a defendant’s legal rights, such as telling a suspect that his or her incriminating statements will not be used to charge the suspect (Commonwealth v. Baye, 2012).” “It is important to note that because the totality-of-the-circumstances inquiry is fact specific, determinations of the limits of police deception are case specific. Considering studies showing that moral judgments influence legal decision-making (e.g., Salerno et al., 2010), future work should consider whether certain tactics are perceived as more morally outrageous than others. That is, decisions about whether deception is allowable may be driven not from beliefs about what is required to overbear a suspect’s will, but rather from moral boundaries that define what is acceptable for police to lie about. Lying about nonexistent evidence may fall on the acceptable side of this boundary, whereas lying about saving a child’s life may not.” Cases that question police deception in the interrogation room have been handled mainly in the lower courts, but the frequency with which such cases arise highlights the lack of clarity regarding this issue. Psychologists interested in interrogation dynamics and legal decision-making can contribute to this area of law by investigating the links between such tactics and the actual and perceived voluntariness of confessions. (Pimentel, P. S. (2010)

I chose to speak on the deceptive practices that are being used in the interrogation process of a potential suspect. There is a lot of grey area in this line of questioning. Sometimes this is not an easy technique for the investigator, they must be good interrogator that is well trained and have the confidence to believe in their work that it does not lead to deceptive practices in the interrogation room. “While it isn’t easy for investigators, sometimes the investigator will end up with false confession from the innocent person of interest because of the expertise in psychological manipulation interrogators have led the person into just confessing, because they are usually tired, they have kept them for hours, they strategically placed them in a room that is uncomfortable for the person of interest. The interrogation process has been manipulated over the years and they are using unethical approaches to gain information or a confession from suspects. But in the law of confessions, it is required that confessions are not coerced but be voluntary so that it is admitted into evidence. There are ethical issues that need to be recognized in interrogation which are, the use of false evidence, the use of torture, and deceptive promises.” It should be noted that (Richard 2008). It is unethical to promise and give hope to the suspect that will not be met to obtain a voluntary confession which are induced. This could also lead to the confession/evidence being admissible in court. In all cost the investigation needs to be done by the book, so the prosecution would have a good solid case to present in court without any ethical issue that would arise from the defense.

Explain the process, policy, or legal change you proposed in your

As the increase in visibility and awareness continues to grow within interview/interrogation training, we can expect to see a proportionate influx of new providers to hit the scene, each offering the next “best and brightest” tools to get the job done. As with anything, the impetus will lie squarely on the agency to ensure they are educated, aware, and understand what programs best meet the needs of their respective law enforcement agencies. A processed process I could see is during interrogation there should be an impartial certified individual in the room, for the sake of fairness in the process. Though you may have onlooker through the mirror, they are usually the supervisor and others for the benefit of the case on their behalf. All interrogations should be recorded both voice and visual for the use if needed in court on behalf of the defense. This way the judge and the jury could see for themselves if this was in fact a deceptive interrogation or that this was not by the policies and procedures guidelines. “Movement for increased recording of interrogations in the US; Currently, there is a movement for mandatory electronic recording of all custodial interrogations in the United States. “Electronic recording” describes the process of recording interrogations from start to finish. This contrasts with a “taped” or “recorded confession,” which typically only includes the final statement of the suspect. “Taped interrogation” is the traditional term for this process; however, as analog is becoming less and less common, statutes and scholars are referring to the process as “electronically recording” interviews or interrogations. Alaska, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are the only states to require taped interrogation. New Jersey’s taping requirement started on January 1, 2006. Massachusetts allows jury instructions that state that the courts prefer taped interrogations. Commander Neil Nelson of the St. Paul Police Department, an expert in taped interrogation, has described taped interrogation in Minnesota as the “best thing ever rammed down our throats.” (Barstow, 2022)

Explain how this change contributes to social change.

“There has been a profound transformation in the methods, strategies, and consciousness of police interrogators. Psychological deception has replaced physical coercion as one of the most salient, defining features of contemporary police interrogation. Where once custodial interrogation routinely involved physical violence and duress, police questioning now consists of subtle and sophisticated psychological ploys and techniques that rely on manipulation, persuasion, and deception for their efficacy. Not only do police now openly and strongly condemn the use of physical force during interrogation, but they also believe that psychological tactics are far more effective at eliciting confessions. The use of deception has, in effect, become a functional alternative to the use of coercion. With this change, police power in the context of interrogation has acquired new meaning: it has become more subtle, more invasive, and more total, effectuated through psychological manipulation rather than physical violence.” (Leo 2008)


Scholarly Source; Brandl, S. (2018). Criminal investigation (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Chapter 9, “Information from the Public, Social Media, Information Networks, Digital Devices, and Other Sources”, Information Networks, Digital Devices, and Other Sources” “Information from Electronic Devices and Digital Evidence” (Review), pp. 260–266 Criminal Investigation, 4th Edition by Brandl, S. Copyright 2018 by Sage Publications, Inc.

Scholarly Source: Rossmo, D. K. (2016). Case rethinking: A protocol for reviewing criminal investigations. Police Practice and Research, 17(3), 212–228.

Academic Source: From Coercion to Deception: The Changing Nature of Police Interrogation in America Crime, Law, and Social Change, Vol. 18, 1992, 25 Pages, Posted: 6 Jun 2008 Richard A. Leo University of San Francisco

Academic Source: Commonwealth v. Baye, 462 Mass. 246 (2012).

Academic Source: https://www.ipl.org/Ethical-Issues-In-Interrogation-Roman 2008 Links to an external site.; FCQDFCUVZT#: ~:text=There%20are%20ethical%20issues%20that%20need%20to%20be, to%20make%20the%20suspect%20end%20up%20voluntarily%20confessing.

Academic Source: https://losspreventionmedia.com/the-evolution-of-interviewing/#:~:text=It%20didn%E2%80%99t%20happen%20overnight%2C%20but%20the%20landscape%20of,leveraging%20emotional%20connections%20to%20acquire%20information%20from%20subjects/ Tony Paixão, CFI, CFE -April 16, 2020

Academic Source: Southern New Hampshire University; Samantha Leo; Fall 2022

Scholarly Source: https://psynso.com/interrogation-techniques/ Dr. Robin Barstow, Post published: December 16, 2022


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