The Rag and Bone Shop – Opinion Essay Draft
Jason Dorrant was an unlikely candidate for the murder of seven-year-old Alicia Bartlett; he was young, shy, and tended to keep to himself, yet, the Monument Police Department targeted him as their prime suspect after no other leads were found and enlisted the help of one of the greatest interrogators, perhaps the greatest, by the name of Trent, to head the interrogation of the boy. Motivated by a promise of position and power, Trent sets to work on Jason to discover his guilt, or lack thereof, and is soon so consumed by his ambition that he feels he must obtain a confession from Jason at all costs, even if that means a false confession. Being the masterful interrogator that he is, Trent makes quick work of it and, despite knowing the contrary, successfully coerces the boy into a confession of his guilt (Cormier). This is a fictional story that takes place in The Rag and Bone Shop, but we must ask ourselves if this could truly happen today, in reality? Are there not laws that prohibit this kind of action against young children and can an interrogator really become so corrupt that they lose sight of the justice system? I my opinion, the scenario that played out in The Rag and Bone Shop, while a peculiar one, is one that, given the right circumstances, could happen and has happened before.
Take this real-life story as an example:
On the evening of January 20, 1998, someone stabbed twelve-year-old Stephanie Crowe to death in her bedroom. After a brief investigation in which they found no evidence of forced entry, police turned to Stephanie's fourteen year-old brother, Michael, as their primary suspect. Two officers questioned Michael for eleven hours, during which time they repeatedly lied about the case against him to convince him that he had killed his own sister. The interrogators told Michael that they had found a knife, covered with Stephanie's blood, in his bedroom, and they suggested that his hair was found...
Cited: Cormier, Robert. The Rag and Bone Shop. New York: Random House, 2001. Print.
NWI Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2013. .
McMullen, Patrick M. "Questioning The Questions: The Impermissibility Of Police Deception In Interrogations Of Juveniles." Northwestern University Law Review 99.2 (2005): 971- 1006. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Mar. 2013.
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