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Police tactics in the interrogation room

An article in the May issue of the Monitor on Psychology published by the APA (American Psychological Association) titled ‘Deception in the interrogation room’ informs us that police can use a variety of deceptive practices to coerce a suspect into a confession. For example, it is permissible to tell a criminal suspect that his confederate confessed when he had not and say that a suspects fingerprints were at the scene when there were none! There are some limits, however, like telling a suspect that his statements won’t be used against him but other forms of outright lying are permissible. As the authors write, “although most potential jurors view police tactics as coercive, they generally believe such tactics are necessary to elicit truthful confessions and unlikely to elicit false ones.” Very interesting!