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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51545 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE EXPLOITATION OF CONFIDENTIAL STATEMENTS
Journal: REVUE INTERNATIONALE DE CRIMINOLOGIE ET DE POLICE TECHNIQUE  Volume:30  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY-MARCH 1977)  Pages:55-59
Author(s): F CATHALA
Corporate Author: Editions Medicine et Hygiene
Switzerland
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Editions Medicine et Hygiene
1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: Switzerland
Annotation: POLICE USE OF CONFIDENTIAL STATEMENTS MADE BY WITNESSES TO CRIMES IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: TO FULFILL THEIR INVESTIGATIVE OBLIGATIONS, POLICE REQUIRE AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE ABOUT ANY GIVEN CRIME. OPEN TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES PRODUCES EVIDENCE WITHOUT PROBLEMS, BUT MANY WITNESSES CHOOSE TO GIVE TESTIMONY ANONYMOUSLY. IN INVESTIGATING CRIMES, POLICE FREQUENTLY RECORD ORAL STATEMENTS OF WITNESSES, ALTHOUGH THEY PREFER WRITTEN DEPOSITIONS SIGNED BY THE WITNESSES. INSISTENCE ON WRITTEN TESTIMONY, HOWEVER, MAY SILENCE WITNESSES ENTIRELY, LEAVING THE POLICE WITHOUT BENEFIT OF CRUCIAL DETAILS. UNFORTUNATELY, STATEMENTS MADE UNDER THE VEIL OF SECRECY OFFER UNSCRUPULOUS PARTIES AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK REVENGE OR SIMPLY TO PASS OFF INACCURATE HEARSAY INFORMATION AS FACT. FROM THE LEGAL POINT OF VIEW, CONFIDENTIAL STATEMENTS ARE COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE, BUT FROM THE PRACTICAL STANDPOINT, POLICE INVESTIGATIONS ARE IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT SUCH SECRET INFORMATION, AND IT MUST BE ASSUMED THAT EXPERIENCED OFFICERS ARE CAPABLE OF SENSING THE SPIRIT IN WHICH INFORMATION IS GIVEN AND OF PROCEEDING ACCORDINGLY WITH CAUTION. FINALLY, WHILE REGRETTABLE, THE RELUCTANCE OF THE PUBLIC IN GENERAL TO SIGN WRITTEN TESTIMONY IS UNDERSTANDABLE: NOT ONLY ARE SUCH WITNESSES LIKELY TO FACE REPRISALS FROM THE ACCUSED PARTIES, BUT THEY ALSO COMMIT THEMSELVES TO FURTHER TESTIMONY IN COURT WHERE THEY ARE FREQUENTLY FORCED TO REPEAT THE SAME STORY OVER AND OVER AND ARE SUBJECTED TO THE RIGORS OF CROSS-EXAMINATION. --IN FRENCH. (KMD)
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Evidence; Interview and interrogation; Investigative powers; Privileged communications; Testimony; Witnesses
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51545

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