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Old 20th September 2019, 07:44 AM   #41
Kestrel
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
Hi Kestrel,

Good to see you again. When I first heard about that case, I was very surprised. However upon further thought I realized that
a) police sometimes get witnesses to change their statement
b) police sometimes get a suspect to wrongly confess

therefore, I should not have been terribly surprised to learn that
c) police sometimes get a victim to wrongly withdraw an accusation.

Hmm...I wonder what the moral of this story is.
Our culture assumes that a person telling the truth will always tell the story exactly the same way. In this case the victimís memory was clouded by the trauma of the event. She didnít always describe the crime exactly the same way. The investigators took this as proof that she was lying. The victim was also easily bullied into altering her story to fit what the investigators wanted to hear. Once they started down that road confirmation bias took over.
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Old 20th September 2019, 09:08 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
.....
I was wondering, for example, about police biases that enter the investigative process and not already covered in other topics. So far I have found a bit of material on investigative decision biases that occur at 'tipping points' (such as decision to arrest) but haven't yet found a lot of material that fits together well. There needs to be a clear theme for each lecture or students get confused. This isn't about specific cases although they can be used as illustrations. I need to extract some type of issue that occurs across different investigations, and might be used to explain failures in the process. Is there anything obvious (or not so obvious) that is missing? Something that perhaps occurs across multiple cases of wrongful conviction, that I can look into and make into a clear topic?

If you haven't seen it, watch "Don't Talk to Cops," two famous talks by a law professor and an ex-detective turned lawyer who explain why nobody suspected of a crime, guilty or innocent, should talk to police. It might give you some ideas about how the system works, at least at the beginning.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE
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Old 20th September 2019, 09:31 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
Our culture assumes that a person telling the truth will always tell the story exactly the same way. In this case the victimís memory was clouded by the trauma of the event. She didnít always describe the crime exactly the same way. The investigators took this as proof that she was lying. The victim was also easily bullied into altering her story to fit what the investigators wanted to hear. Once they started down that road confirmation bias took over.
Which is funny because I'm fairly certain that I heard a podcast in the last couple of years that talked about how liars will tend to use the exact same words when telling a story whereas non-liars will not. I think they even had a program that had a very high level of success in determining just from transcripts who was lying and who was telling the truth.
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Old 20th September 2019, 10:28 AM   #44
Elaedith
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Which is funny because I'm fairly certain that I heard a podcast in the last couple of years that talked about how liars will tend to use the exact same words when telling a story whereas non-liars will not. I think they even had a program that had a very high level of success in determining just from transcripts who was lying and who was telling the truth.
Adding extra details with reminiscence is consistent with both truthful recollection and accurate recall, but tends to be viewed with suspicion. It is another area where the beliefs of police investigators regarding cues to deception may be inaccurate, as discussed in this article.

Recall changes with suggestion and over time, which threatens accuracy but does not necessarily indicate untruthfulness, just the malleability of memory. I think there is some research indicating that intentional deception is associated with more consistency in accounts rather than less (which makes sense since we know that normal memory is malleable, but prepared deception has probably been extensively rehearsed). I can't find the citation at the moment. Perhaps I am constructing a false memory.
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Old 20th September 2019, 10:38 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
Adding extra details with reminiscence is consistent with both truthful recollection and accurate recall, but tends to be viewed with suspicion. It is another area where the beliefs of police investigators regarding cues to deception may be inaccurate, as discussed in this article.

Recall changes with suggestion and over time, which threatens accuracy but does not necessarily indicate untruthfulness, just the malleability of memory. I think there is some research indicating that intentional deception is associated with more consistency in accounts rather than less (which makes sense since we know that normal memory is malleable, but prepared deception has probably been extensively rehearsed). I can't find the citation at the moment. Perhaps I am constructing a false memory.

Yeah, here is the podcast I was listening to: Criminal: Pants on Fire.

Liars use fewer words overall and fewer unique words.
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Old 21st September 2019, 01:22 AM   #46
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One of my last jobs before I retired, was to evaluate child protection procedures, using a series of quality indicators provided by HMICS. I ended up with that job after it had been passed about because no one really understood what was being asked for. I did not really understand the jargon either, but quality indicators appeared to suggest identifying best practice.

I interviewed everyone in the Public Protection Unit and asked, what is your general job and are there any procedures you use that work well? The responses were then edited into the report, which was a series of quotes from all the cops in the department.

We identified a number of instances of what someone called "good practice in isolation", HMICS were happy with the report and at least two senior detectives used it as evidence for their next promotion.

It then got filed and is probably forgotten and gathering dust. For all I know, there are no copies left at all by now.

The problem with Police Scotland is that detections are what matter. A brilliant investigation that does not result in a detection is a fail. Quality enquiries, best practice and identifying new procedures that work is not rewarded. A detection (even if it turns out to be wrong and a miscarriage of justice) is the primary measure of success.
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Old 21st September 2019, 01:25 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
Our culture assumes that a person telling the truth will always tell the story exactly the same way. In this case the victimís memory was clouded by the trauma of the event. She didnít always describe the crime exactly the same way. The investigators took this as proof that she was lying. The victim was also easily bullied into altering her story to fit what the investigators wanted to hear. Once they started down that road confirmation bias took over.
That is a defence cross examination technique. Ask the witness basically the same question and then nit pick the slight variations in the answer to suggest lies. Get the witness confused and angry and then their evidence is considered discredited.
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Old 24th September 2019, 04:53 AM   #48
Elaedith
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
One of my last jobs before I retired, was to evaluate child protection procedures, using a series of quality indicators provided by HMICS. I ended up with that job after it had been passed about because no one really understood what was being asked for. I did not really understand the jargon either, but quality indicators appeared to suggest identifying best practice.

I interviewed everyone in the Public Protection Unit and asked, what is your general job and are there any procedures you use that work well? The responses were then edited into the report, which was a series of quotes from all the cops in the department.

We identified a number of instances of what someone called "good practice in isolation", HMICS were happy with the report and at least two senior detectives used it as evidence for their next promotion.

It then got filed and is probably forgotten and gathering dust. For all I know, there are no copies left at all by now.
That's interesting, because it suggests that there were no guidelines for identifying best practice other than from within the organisation (that is, what is currently being done and what processes seem to work based on judgement of those already using them).

I know in certain areas like eyewitness testimony, various working groups were commissioned to make recommendations to law enforcement. Outside of that, I'm not sure how invalid practice gets corrected. For example, how would research findings that police officers use invalid cues for detecting deception make their way through to change in practice?
Quote:

The problem with Police Scotland is that detections are what matter. A brilliant investigation that does not result in a detection is a fail. Quality enquiries, best practice and identifying new procedures that work is not rewarded. A detection (even if it turns out to be wrong and a miscarriage of justice) is the primary measure of success.

I would think that's the main problem with police anywhere.
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Old 24th September 2019, 05:20 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Yeah, here is the podcast I was listening to: Criminal: Pants on Fire.

Liars use fewer words overall and fewer unique words.

I think this is the article I was vaguely remembering. It mentioned false belief of professionals that truthful consecutive statements are more consistent than deceptive ones. This is probably referring to consecutive statements within a single account rather than inconsistency over a longer time period. They also discuss the point you mentioned about untruthful statements containing fewer words and that this creates a confound between more detail and more words in truthful statements, which is not controlled for in using the detail-criterion cue in content analysis.
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Old 26th September 2019, 12:31 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
That's interesting, because it suggests that there were no guidelines for identifying best practice other than from within the organisation (that is, what is currently being done and what processes seem to work based on judgement of those already using them).

I know in certain areas like eyewitness testimony, various working groups were commissioned to make recommendations to law enforcement. Outside of that, I'm not sure how invalid practice gets corrected. For example, how would research findings that police officers use invalid cues for detecting deception make their way through to change in practice?

I would think that's the main problem with police anywhere.
The only formal means I can think of, to identify best practice, are self nominated annual awards for best team, best project, best community initiative etc. Though how effective that is in rolling out best practice across the entire force, I do not know.

There may also be some means to identify best practice when updating the SOPs and policies, but how that is done, I have no idea.
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