From a linguistic perspective, this book is a practical explanation of how confessions work. Roger Shuy, author of the 1993 benchmark work, Language Crimes, examines criminal confessions, the interrogations that elicit confessions, and the deceptive language that plays a role in the actual confession. He presents transcripts from numerous interrogations and analyzes how language is used, how constitutional rights are not protected, and discusses consistency, truthfulness, suggestibility, and written and unvalidated confessions. He also provides specific advice about how to conduct interrogations that will yield credible evidence.
Chapter 10: An Effective Interrogation and a Valid Confession
So far, this book has catalogued flawed police interrogations and confession events, but it would be grossly unfair to law enforcement on the whole to give the impression that the cases cited here are representative of general practice. This is far from the case. Indeed, effective and conscientious police interrogations result in valid confessions. Indeed, in many instances, the suspect's Miranda rights are presented fairly. Not all interrogations misperceive the spoken words of the suspects or twist them, consciously or unconsciously, to achieve the appearance of guilt. Many law enforcement agencies make a clear record, often on tape, of the entire interrogation and confession. Only a few interrogators confuse their role as ...