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NCJ Number: 170321 Find in a Library
Title: Defence Strategies and Techniques of Interrogation: Results of Empirical Research (From Policing in Central and Eastern Europe: Comparing Firsthand Knowledge With Experience From the West, P 331-339, 1996, Milan Pagon, ed. -- See NCJ-170291)
Author(s): D Maver
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: College of Police and Security Studies
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Sale Source: College of Police and Security Studies
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: Slovenia
Annotation: This study, which was conducted in Slovenia, examined changes in the statements of suspects/defendants from the initial police interview/interrogation, through the period of the investigation, and in trial testimony; the study also developed reasons for any statement changes, and it examined implications of the findings for police interrogation.
Abstract: The research used case studies, interviews, a literature review, and observation of cases in process. A total of 100 cases that ended in convictions were randomly chosen, and all statements of the offenders were analyzed, from their first interview with the police to the trial testimony. Among these cases there were 25 homicides, 25 rape cases, 25 burglaries, and 25 robberies. A large number of police officers, detectives, examining magistrates, and judges were interviewed about their practical experience in dealing with suspect/defendant statements and testimony. The study found that the statements of suspects/defendants did change in the course of case processing. The patterns of change differed according to type of offense, type of offender, and investigative circumstances. Typically, changes in statements mostly tended to exculpate the suspect/defendant or minimize the seriousness of his involvement in the charged offense. Statements tended to change in accordance with the development of defense strategies, which were in turn related to the nature of the offense, the type of available evidence, the length of the investigation, and psychological factors. The longer the investigation, the greater were the divergences in the statements of the suspects/defendants. As cases progressed, statements tended to minimize the guilt of the defendant while maximizing the provocation or contribution of the victim. Defendant statements near the end of case processing tended to focus on areas of the case where there was no clear evidence to challenge what the defendant was saying. Given these findings, police interrogation techniques should focus on covering all areas that might later be related to defense strategies. Further, every effort should be made to find evidence to corroborate any incriminating statements made by a defendant. Also, the role of penal procedural law must be considered as a significant factor in what causes defendants to change their statements. Slovenia has some unique provisions that make the situation even more complicated. 14 notes
Main Term(s): Foreign police
Index Term(s): Defendants; Evidence collection; Foreign criminal justice research; Interview and interrogation; Slovenia; Testimony
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