False Confessions & Eyewitness Identifications
answer the following 4 questions, using the information of the 4 videos.
Prompt 1: As your learn from these materials, interrogation is a task of persuasion, not fact-finding. Do you think that this is an appropriate approach to the interrogation process?
Prompt 2: according to prompt 1, how do you protect against the problematic biases and tactics that you see that follow from the presumption of interrogated suspect’s guilt? If not, how do you compensate for the valuable role that true (rather than false) confessions play in solving crimes?
Prompt 3: Do you see a need for different interrogation guidelines for adults and juveniles? Under what conditions, if any, should juveniles be subjected to interrogations?
Prompt 4: Like confessions, eyewitness identifications are valued highly by juries. And like confessions, eyewitness identifications are far less reliable than juries and the public believe. Consider the standard procedures for lineup identifications described in the text and which you saw in the Central Park Five and Contaminated Memories. What could have been done, if anything, to protect against these false eyewitness identifications? What can be done in the future to prevent them?
Ken Burns: The Central Park Five