Although Hollywood dramatizations might suggest differently, a suspect undergoing interrogation by law enforcement officials does have procedural rights.
For example, the Fourth Amendment offers protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Similarly, case law provided by the U.S. Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona and subsequent decisions ensures the right of a suspect in policy custody and under interrogation to have an attorney present and/or invoke the right to be silent. If the latter right is invoked, the interrogation must stop.
Yet a recent article provides a note of caution, suggesting that misconduct and false confessions may still occur during recorded interrogations. For starters, a recording that does not employ a wide-angle view to include the interrogator in the frame may disguise or even hide unfair tactics, leading to what psychologists call camera perspective bias. More troubling is the fact that false confessions may occur for other reasons, and if captured on video, a jury may be unable to fairly consider any exonerating evidence to the contrary.
For anyone facing a criminal charge, it is importance to consult with a criminal defense attorney. Regardless of the crime, an attorney can review the arrest record and other evidence to determine if police followed proper procedures. If any irregularities are discovered, an attorney can incorporate them into a strong defense. In some instances, it may even be possible to raise a challenge to the admission of evidence that was obtained through improper procedures. If such evidence is excluded, a defendant may have a more favorable chance at obtaining a desirable outcome at trial.
The New York Times, “Can a Jury Believe What It Sees?” Jennifer L. Mnookin, July 13, 2014
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