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Interrogation of Michael Crow. Michael Crow was a very popular and bright 12 year old girl. At night of January 21st 2009, Crow with a boy crept into the Stephanie’s bedroom. Stephanie was found dead, stabbed nine times with a hunting knife in the chest. The three boys of the age of 14 to 15 years old were all charged with the murder of Stephanie. However, their parents stood by them and insisted that the boys were being coerced. The police were accused of violence against the children (Lofman, 2007). This caused problems to the police investigators who were involved in the interrogation. The boys have not been found guilty. The lawyers of these three children insisted that the confessions were forced from them and should not be admissible. Nobody knows exactly what happened that night except these three boys. Trying to get information from them was futile and any attempt to probe more into the investigation only caused complains about the boys being coerced. (Swanso, 2002) The police did a good job in interrogating the boys. These boys needed to tell the truth about what happened that night. However, children, especially teenagers are very sensitive and should be dealt with differently. The police or the interrogation team should have been more patient and attentive to the boys. The other option would have been to treat them as children are treated and thinking in their level.
In the recent years the number of sibling murders has increased. For example a case of a 15 year old boy who told the authorities that he had beaten his sister up to death. The motive of these child’s murders is sibling rivalry. What interrogation methods should be used in children’s cases? Children are very sensitive and might not take violence as other people do. Therefore, children should be treated differently. Whether or not they are guilty they are still children and need to be treated as children. (Lofland, 2002) Emotion torture, psychological torture and physical torture can have a negative effect on the children. Violent treatment can result to permanent damage to the children. According to AD Redlich, law and psychiatry (2004), the ultimate goal tointerrogate a criminal is to get the required information to solve the case. Therefore, establishing the psychological control is very important in order to achieve the desired results. Police interrogations should not be based upon physical intimidation but should use a more sophisticated psychological manipulation. In the Crow’s case, the police should have used psychological manipulation.
According to Chisun Lee, the National Law journal (2006), the Government lost almost 15 cases of the inmates after the inmates said they were witnesses of forcible interrogations from the police. One of the issues that amounted to the force was a wrongful detention. In this case, the Government rejected all the evidences because the interrogators were accused of using verbal threats as well as physical abuse which they called torture. However, the Government won 8 cases against the inmates. (Lee, 2010) This has posed a big problem to the Unites States Government. This is because the Government thinks that the inmates are too dangerous to be released. On the other hand, these prisoners cannot be prosecuted in any court, military or civilian. This could have been avoided if the police not used excessive force in the interrogations. What would have been done differently? The police would have established a physiological control in order to achieve better results from the interrogations. The interrogations should not have been based on the physical treats and intimidating but a sophisticated psychological manipulation. Ad Redlch, Law and psychiatry (2004). The other method that could be used to do things differently is to control interrogation or have control of interrogations. The Government should borrow an evidence approach from the criminal law. In this approach the prosecutor can only succeed in proving the guilty or innocent of the person accused through arguing. This would help to avoid such events and accusations.
The Putten Murder
Willem Wagner, European review (2002), attributes that interrogation techniques that mislead or suggest may affect the innocence of the persons being accused. This is because such tactic affects the innocent people psychologically and they begin to envision themselves committing these crimes. This is evident in confessions which are obtained after many repeated interrogations in a long period.
Therefore, confessions according to Willem case are not the good evidence to use in a case. This is because it contains the element of deception and suggestion. The Putten murder case is a case of two innocent men (Kapoor, 2003). These men were imprisoned for eight years yet they were innocent. The confessions from these two men were obtained after many repeated interrogations in a long period. These two men in the end confessed to the crimes that they did not commit. This caused a big problem to the interrogation team. The interrogation technique that they used resulted to the conviction of two innocent men while the culprit still walks the streets of Netherlands free. The main objective of criminal investigations, according to Willem, puts no limit on what is acceptable even though it is a known fact that false confession is a serious risk to the society and to the person being incriminated. This can be corrected and made right only if in the future the police investigations were controlled and limited. There should be a law that restricts the use of excessive force during interrogations. On the other hand, this would pose another problem to the police force. This is because hard criminals would take advantage of this fact or law and use it for their own benefits.
Abuse of Iraq’s Detainees
The photos of the Iraq detainees’ abuse at the Abu Ghariab prison have left many people speechless. In the beginning of the case the detainees were willing to cooperate with interrogators. Later it was decoded that more information could be obtained from the detainees by the use of force and coercion. During the interrogation, the interrogators beat the detainees senselessly; they used fists and blunt objects. That specific detainee died while in the custody of the United States. He died before he could give the investigators the information they needed. Dr. Marvin Zalman (2007), Constitution and society, attributes that torture is prohibited. He states that inflicting pain on a prisoner, whether it is physical pain or mental pain, is inhuman. Every human being deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. The crime they are accused of committing should not be a reason to use torture and inflict pain (Zalman, 2007). The big question is “what prisoners should be tortured? Should terrorists be tortured in order to obtain information from them? Is torture justified in such cases?” Christopher Hickens, an English philosopher, makes a very important point when he attributes that a man who knows where the bomb is, puts the hooks into him swiftly. Is there anything like successful torture? The answer is definitely no! This is because torture always has a negative effect on both the prisoner and the interrogator.
Physical and mental torture may not leave a mark that is noticeable but will leave a permanent mark that no eyes can perceive. The use of excessive force also forces people who are innocent to confess to the crimes they did not commit. This is because most of these people can not stand the torture any more. In this regard, interrogations should be controlled and regulated. There should be laws and rules that govern and restrict the use of excessive force. Torture is unnecessary and does not bear any positive results.
The police investigators who are accused of using excessive force should be punished in a court of law. This is because the use of excessive force is a crime of its own kind. Therefore, countries, states and nations should put an end to the endless torture that goes on behind bars and in the interrogation rooms (Wagenaar, 2002). This vice should be put under strict control. Every human being has a right to be treated as a human being.
This paper has analyzed five different cases that involved interrogation and have caused problems for the case. Similar cases are on the rise in many different countries. The finding of this paper is that the use of excessive force, inflicting physical or mental pain and torture are crimes which should be punished.
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