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NCJ Number: 65457 Find in a Library
Title: FORMULATING QUESTIONS AND RECORDING REPLIES - NEUTRALITY IN QUESTIONING WITNESSES, SUSPECTS, ETC
Journal: INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE REVIEW  Issue:330  Dated:(AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 1979)  Pages:190-203
Author(s): P RAVIER
Corporate Author: International Criminal Police Organization
France
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: International Criminal Police Organization
92210 Saint Cloud, France
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: France
Annotation: THIS EXCERPT FROM A FRENCH THESIS ON NEUTRALITY IN POLICE QUESTIONING PROCEDURES FOCUSES ON THE MANNER OF FORMULATING QUESTIONS AND RECORDING REPLIES TO INSURE THE INTERROGATING OFFICER'S OBJECTIVITY.
Abstract: SINCE INTERROGATION BY MEANS OF SUGGESTIVE QUESTIONS CAN GROSSLY DISTORT THE PICTURE OF WHAT A SUSPECT OR WITNESS HAD EXPERIENCED, THE NATURE AND FORM OF LEADING QUESTIONS IS ANALYZED, TOGETHER WITH INDICATIONS OF HOW TO FORMULATE SUCH QUESTIONS WITHOUT SUGGESTING THE REPLIES. IN A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION, A QUESTION ORIGINATES IN THE ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH AND DRAW UP A CHRONOLOGICAL RECONSTRUCTION OF A PUNISHABLE ACT. OFFICERS SHOULD USE A WRITTEN RECONSTRUCTION OF THE FACTS AS A BASIS FOR OBJECTIVE QUESTIONING AND FOLLOW A SEQUENCE THAT BEGINS WITH THE ANTECEDENTS AND LEADS THROUGH THE CHAIN OF EVENTS TO THE OFFENSE. SUGGESTIONS INFLUENCING THE RESPONSE CAN BE DIRECT OR INDIRECT; THE LATTER CAN BE INSINUATED BY THE QUALITY OF THE TERMS USED, THE NUMBER OF POSSIBLE REPLIES, AND EVEN THE QUESTIONER'S TONE OF VOICE. THE SUGGESTED TECHNIQUE FOR PREVENTING DISTORTION OF THE INTERVIEWEE'S THOUGHT PROCESS INVOLVES BOTH THE FORM AND SUBSTANCE OF THE QUESTION. EVERY QUESTION SHOULD HAVE ITS PLACE IN A DEFINITE PROGRESSION SERIES, STARTING WITH THE GENERAL AND GRADUALLY FOCUSING ON THE SPECIFIC, AND GUIDE THE RECREATION OF EVENTS IN SUCH A WAY THAT NEW FACTS EMERGE SPONTANEOUSLY FROM THE WITNESS AND NOT THE INVESTIGATOR. EARLY QUESTIONS WILL BE FORMULATED USING A QUESTION WORD AND GENERAL TERMS, WHILE MORE ADVANCED STAGES OF THE INTERROGATION WILL REQUIRE THE COMBINATION OF A QUESTION WORD WITH SPECIFIC TERMS. ALL QUESTIONS MUST BE SHORT. THE MANNER IN WHICH AN ORAL INTERROGATION IS SUBSEQUENTLY RECORDED IN WRITING CAN ALSO CAUSE DISTORTIONS. ALL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SHOULD BE RECORDED VERBATIM, TOGETHER WITH DESCRIPTIONS OF PHYSICAL ATTITUDES AND THE REACTIONS OF ALL PRESENT. ACCURATE RECORDING POSSIBILITIES ARE OFFERED BY THE USE OF TAPE RECORDERS, AND EVENTUALLY, VIDEOSCOPES. FOOTNOTES AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): France; Interview and interrogation; Suspect interrogation; Techniques
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65457

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