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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Marvin Zalman

Abstract

Within the last century, interrogation practices throughout the United States have notably changed. Police interrogations went from physical harm (i.e., the third degree) to psychologically suggestive techniques. These psychologically coercive techniques put suspects at risk of giving a false confession, which is one of the contributing factors in wrongful convictions. One remedy to reduce false confessions is to electronically record interrogations. Very little is known about the specific policies and practices of electronic recordings during interrogation within law enforcement agencies. Policies and practices vary by state and by agency, which makes it difficult to identify agencies that do electronically record interrogations. The current study set out to gain more information about the practices and policies of the electronic recording of interrogations in law enforcement agencies across Michigan. Mail-in survey data was obtained from a stratified random sample of law enforcement agencies across Michigan. Results indicate that the majority of the law enforcement agencies in our sample electronically record custodial interrogations. This study provides important insight on the policies and practices related to electronic recordings of interrogations among law enforcement agencies.

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