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Handling Suspects’ Claims of Insanity During Interrogation

Handling Suspects’ Claims of Insanity During Interrogation

Using the mnemonic "INSANITY," PNCLIS (pronounced "Pin-clis") incorporates eight essential elements to assist law enforcement with collecting and documenting information about a suspect's thought processes at and around the time of an offense.

September 4, 2018

How To Conduct Patrol-Level Interviews

How To Conduct Patrol-Level Interviews

I have assembled some useful information specifically tailored for the patrol officer conducting interviews and interrogations during the initial investigation.

April 7, 2017

How to Investigate a Burglary

How to Investigate a Burglary

My friend used investigating burglaries as his template for training new detectives. Since his clearance rate was always above the national average, his training model likely has merit. With that in mind, here are some points to remember.

February 9, 2017

Admonitions and Waivers

Admonitions and Waivers

Most of your communications with criminal suspects are "unscripted" dialogue. But in certain situations it can be very important that you say the right words, at the right time, to avoid creating problems for yourself, your agency, and your prosecutor.

May 4, 2015

Reduce Negative Impact of Miranda

Reduce Negative Impact of Miranda

Has Miranda v. Arizona adversely affected criminal justice and public safety? Miranda has resulted in the inability to clear a quarter-million homicides, 1 million rapes, 5 million robberies, and 9 million aggravated assaults.

March 11, 2014

50 Years After Miranda

50 Years After Miranda

Officers on the job before 1966 knew that the right to remain silent was guaranteed by the Constitution, but no officer from that era ever thought it was his job to remind offenders of their rights. That changed with the arrest of Ernesto Miranda in March 1963 and the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that followed.

May 21, 2013

Suspect-Initiated Interrogation

Suspect-Initiated Interrogation

Once a custodial suspect has been given Miranda warnings and has acknowledged his understanding, he might waive his rights and submit to questioning, or he might invoke—either by indicating that he doesn't want to talk, or by requesting counsel.

January 9, 2013

Lawyers and Miranda Warnings: Either/Or?

Lawyers and Miranda Warnings: Either/Or?

It sometimes happens that a suspect's lawyer offers to surrender him for arrest and agrees to let his or her client be questioned, provided the lawyer is present during the interrogation.

September 7, 2012

Drawing Lines Around Miranda

Drawing Lines Around Miranda

In November, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 54th decision on a Miranda issue, in a case called Bobby v. Dixon. This is the third decision on the issue of the admissibility of a suspect's statements obtained after a belated warning and waiver.

February 13, 2012

Juveniles and Miranda "Custody"

Juveniles and Miranda "Custody"

In J.D.B. v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court didn't really clarify the issue of Mirandizing juveniles. Until further issues are litigated, officers should consult policy advisers to obtain guidelines for Mirandizing and interrogating juvenile suspects.

August 1, 2011

'Functional Equivalent' of Miranda Questions

'Functional Equivalent' of Miranda Questions

"Interrogation" has been defined by the Supreme Court to include both direct questioning and its "functional equivalent." What does this term mean? Three Supreme Court cases and numerous decisions from the federal appeals court have considered this question.

May 11, 2011

Miranda Warning Issues

Miranda Warning Issues

Miranda warnings are triggered by a simple formula: Custody + Interrogation = The requirement for Miranda warnings. A motorist is not in "custody" for Miranda purposes when he or she is detained for an ordinary traffic stop.

May 11, 2010

Premature Miranda Warnings

Premature Miranda Warnings

Give Miranda warnings just before commencement of apparent custodial police interrogation-not sooner. Leave Hollywood tactics to the actors.

December 14, 2009

Blood from a Turnip

Blood from a Turnip

Nothing can captivate a jury with such magnetic power as the live testimony of another human being, or even the reading of a confession in the courtroom. While it is one of the most difficult things to master, knowing and practicing the skills and techniques of good interviewing results in better case information and more convictions in the courtroom.

October 19, 2009

Sixth Amendment Waivers

Sixth Amendment Waivers

It will now be possible for law enforcement officers to attempt to obtain a waiver and an admissible statement from a defendant without running afoul of the Sixth Amendment.

August 7, 2009

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