Final exam

  • Category:
    Law
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    2
  • Words:
    1187

Week 3: Eye Witness Testimony

Factors influencing the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, which are under the control of the criminal justice system, include the quality of the
investigatory procedures that the criminal justice system uses to gather accurate identification evidence and descriptive evidence, the quality of the police interview techniques used, and lastly, the nature of the identification parades. This essay explores the factors influencing the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.

As regards the descriptive evidence consists, when witnesses are interviewed, viral information regarding an incident is gathered. However, the accuracy of information is not guaranteed as the witnesses’ memory may be contaminated. The possible sources of descriptive evidence, which may also be contaminated, include the witnesses, media and the police.

In respect to police interview techniques, it is important to note that police interviews optimise the amount of accurate information recollected and reduce the risk of contamination of evidence. In other words, the quality of information gathered through police interview techniques depends on the ability of the witnesses to remember incidents and the degree of contamination of the evidence, including incidences where the evidence provided is misleading.

In respect to identification parades, the accuracy of eyewitness testimony also depends on the witnesses’ capacity to remember and avoid biases. By attending and identification parade, it does not guarantee that the perpetrator will be present or identified accurately. However, the witness may choose to select the wrong person out of fear or fail to identify one at all.

To conclude, the accuracy of eyewitness testimony is not guaranteed using descriptive evidence as the witnesses’ memory may be contaminated. Additionally, the quality of information gathered through police interview techniques depends on the ability of the witnesses to remember. Lastly, identification parades also depend on the witnesses’ capacity to remember and avoid biases.

Week 6: Investigative interviewing I

Investigative interviewing relies on confession. However, false confession may however contaminate evidence, leading to wrongful conviction. A false confession refers to an admission to a certain criminal act that an individual did not commit, often in togetherness with an accompanying narrative regarding why and how the crime happened. This essay examines types of false confessions and how they can be prevented.

Essentially, there are three types of confession. These included voluntary false confessions, coerced-compliant false confessions, and coerced-internalised false confessions. Voluntary false confession refers to a situation where an individual gives a false confession while responding to minimal or no pressure from the law enforcement. Compliant false confession, on the other hand, refers to a false confession that an individual gives merely to shorten an interrogation or to acquire certain anticipated rewards in return for the confession. Persuaded false confession is a type of false confession intentionally that an innocent suspect provides who eventually doubts their capacity to remember, and then convinces himself that he may have committed the crime in spite of not being able to remember having committed the crime.

Police-induced false confessions are, therefore, dangers to justice. The safeguards against false confessions include establishing procedural safeguards that can offer persons of interest protection from mistakenly incriminating themselves, and ensure that the confession is voluntary to prevent coerced confessions.

To concluded, there are mainly three types of confession: voluntary false confessions, coerced-compliant false confessions, and coerced-internalised false confessions. They can, however, be prevented using procedural safeguards and encouraging voluntary confession.

Week 7 Investigative interviewing II

While interviewing persons of interest, particularly terror suspects, the most effective means to elicit reliable information is using humane techniques. This is because respecting human rights lays ground for trust and reciprocity between the law enforcement and the citizens. Conversely, systematic abuse of human rights is likely to lay ground for growth of terrorist activities in the long-term. This essay shows that torture, unfair trial, and insufficient human rights protection are non-reliable means for gathering information.

Tortures are not effective for gathering information. The torture incidents at Guantanamo Bay provide evidence of a great amount of violations of human rights, where interviewing persons of interest to gather information has flopped. The persons of interest experience torture, unfair trial, and insufficient human rights protection. These conditions present uncertain situations to gather reliable information, as the purpose of such interrogations seem to be punishment instead of gathering intelligence. A possible explanation for this is because such conditions encourage voluntary false confessions, coerced-compliant false confessions, and coerced-internalised false confessions from the persons of interest.

However, interviewing should be distinguished from interrogation, as is the case for England and Wales. Interrogation approaches were initially used to increase the potential for confession, leading to miscarriage of justice due to deceit and trickery. However, police culture was changed to seek truth instead of confession.

To conclude, respecting human rights lays ground for trust and reciprocity between the law enforcement and the citizens. Conversely, systematic abuse of human rights is likely to lay ground for growth of terrorist activities in the long-term, as it encourages voluntary false confessions, coerced-compliant false confessions, and coerced-internalised false confessions.

Essay4: Week 10

Due process of law presents a prescribed means to ensure the trials are impartial and neutral. Essentially, it implies there has to be hearing, which should also be fair. This essay explores the elements and application of ‘due process’ during trial.

Elements of due process require that notice should be given, where the suspect has to be informed of all charges and be provided with sufficient time to prepare. Second, there has to be publicity. This requires that the trial is carried out in an open court to circumvent concerns about ‘justice’ being carried out behind closed doors. Third, the element of standards of proof must also exist. This suggests that the onus of proof is on the prosecution, should prove beyond reasonable doubt whether a suspect should be declared guilty. There also have to be evidences, which are also subject to certain rules concerning what should be admitted as evidence. Lastly, there has to be impartiality. This requires that people should not be permitted to judge their ‘own cause’, such as in the scenario where trial involves a member of family or friend.

Trial may be through either the jury or judges, depending on a need to include community standards and morals and to interpret the legal terminology and see the long-term consequences of judgement respectively. Still, the role of the jury is to consider the evidence provided in court and to apply law based on the directions the judge gives on how to address the facts of the case.

However, since jury decision-making may be unduly influenced, countering biases in jury decision-making is vital. The three vital safeguards against biases for the jury include Voire dire, which is an approach requiring that any juror perceived to be biased be excluded. Next is a judicial instruction, which provides juror with direction on how to handle evidence and issue verdict and to overlook any non-evidentiary information. Next is jury deliberation.

To conclude, Elements of due process require that notice should be given, there has to be publicity, standards of proof, evidences, and rules for evidences, and impartiality during trial by the judge or the jury.