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.

Some Basic Principles of Interrogation, Confession, and Deceptive Language
Some basic principles of interrogation, confession, and deceptive language

Wrightsman and Kassin (1993) report that confession evidence is relentlessly regular in the courts, with an estimate of 47% of cases in Los Angeles, 68% of cases in New York City, 50% of cases in London and Birmingham accompanied by confessions (p. 1). Wig-more (1970) notes that a confession is the most influential type of evidence, and McCormick (1972) observes that the confession makes all other aspects of a trial seem superfluous (p. 316). Despite this, confession evidence can have serious problems, as the cases in this book illustrate.

Most criminal cases I've worked on have had no confession. The subjects have either not waived their constitutional rights or ...

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