Deception in the Investigative, Interrogative, and Testimonial Processes

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Deception in the Investigative, Interrogative, and Testimonial Processes Lisa Moore
University of Phoenix
Ethics in Justice and Security
CJA 530
March 23, 2010
Roger Long J.D.

Deception in the Investigative, Interrogative, and Testimonial Processes
The term deception means the deliberate act of misleading an individual some may refer to deception as “little white lies.” Deception has long been used in the criminal justice area by officers in the detecting process of criminal cases, and is one of the most commonly used tools in the investigative process. Investigators use deception in the detecting process. This involves misleading criminals during the investigative and interrogative stages, to gather enough information about the crime that only the suspect would know to arrest the suspect, and then present the case to the court. There are three stages of deception, the investigation, then interrogation, and finally the testimonial.

“Hard and fast rules limiting police conduct may challenge common sense, while the absence of such rules may invite arbitrary and abusive conduct.  This paper discusses one of the most troubling and difficult questions pertaining to the ideal of legality: To what extent, if at all, is it proper for law enforcement officials to employ trickery and deceit as part of their law enforcement practices” (White, 1979)? “Whatever the answer to that question if, indeed, an answer be formulated it has to be measured against a hard reality of the criminal justice system.  That reality is: Deception is considered by police--and courts as well--to be as natural to detecting as pouncing is to a cat” (Skolnick, 1975).

Deception is generally allowed during the investigative stage of detection, as it is to the courts but is less tolerated during interrogation and rarely suitable or accepted during court proceedings. “Here, police are permitted by the courts to engage in trickery and deception and are trained to do so by the police...
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