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Interrogation is a methodology employed during the interview of a person, referred to as a "source", to obtain information that the source would not otherwise willingly disclose.

A typical purpose is not necessarily to force a confession, but rather to develop, playing on the source's character, sufficient rapport as to prompt the source to disclose information valuable to the interrogator.

A well-conducted interrogation will not usually involve torture, which in practice is widely acknowledged to be ineffective at producing true, accurate, correct and reliable information.

Prisoners of war (POW) routinely undergo military interrogation and thus, resistance training is often a prerequisite for some personnel.

Different methods of interrogation

There are multiple possible methods of interrogation including deception, torture, increasing suggestibility, and using mind-altering drugs.

The methods used to increase suggestibility are moderate sleep deprivation, exposure to constant white noise, and using GABAergic drugs such as sodium amytal.

One notable interrogation technique is the Reid technique. However, the Reid technique (which requires interrogators to watch the body language of suspects to detect deceit) has been criticized [1] for being too difficult to apply across cultures and is impracticable for many law enforcement officers.

In the U.S., there is no law or regulation that forbids the interrogator from lying, from making misleading statements or from implying that the interviewee has already been implicated in the crime by someone else. Deception forms an important part of effective interrogation.

Crossing the line

Interrogation methods used at Guantanamo Bay and many other U.S. camps for illegal combatants could include sleep deprivation, waterboarding, exposure to extremes of cold and heat, and placing prisoners in "stress positions" for long periods of time. It has been suggested by various media outlets that such harsh treatment during interrogation may cross the boundary between acceptable methods of gaining information and torture.

US Air Force General Jack L. Rives (Deputy Judge Advocate General) advised a US government task force that many of the extreme methods of interrogation would leave service personnel open to legal sanction in the US and foreign countries.

Movement for increased recording of interrogations in the US

Currently, there is a movement for mandatory electronic recording of all custodial interrogations in the United States. [2] "Electronic Recording" describes the process of recording interrogations from start to finish. This is in contrast to a "taped" or "recorded confession," which typically only includes the final statement of the suspect. "Taped interrogation" is the traditional term for this process; however, as analog is becoming less and less common, statutes and scholars are referring to the process as "electronically recording" interviews or interrogations. Alaska, [3] Illinois, [4] Maine, [5], Minnesota, [6] and Wisconsin [7] are the only states to require taped interrogation. New Jersey’s taping requirement started on January 1, 2006. [8] [9] Massachusetts allows jury instructions that state that the courts prefer taped interrogations. See Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista, 813 N.E.2d 516, 533-34 (Mass. 2004). Commander Neil Nelson of the St. Paul Police Department, an expert in taped interrogation, [10] has described taped interrogation in Minnesota as the "best thing ever rammed down our throats." [11]

See also

External links and sources

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