Successful prosecution of a case depends on the legality and admissibility of the evidence gathered by the investigator. Statements obtained during interviews and interrogations are part of the information that helps prepare and present a case in court. Therefore, as an investigator, it is important for you to fully understand the tenets of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution. Evidence that adheres to the legal guidelines detailed in these constitutional amendments is admissible in court.
An investigator plays an important role in building a case for trial. With that role comes an important responsibility to ensure he or she has obtained a confession from the actual perpetrator of the crime. There are many reasons people confess to crimes they have not committed. Extensive investigative rigor must be exercised in order to make sure that cases containing false confessions are not prosecuted. On many occasions, there is pressure from the public, superiors, and the media to make an arrest in a case. An investigator who succumbs to these pressures is acting negligently.
Review the following article on the Central Park jogger rape case: http://writ.news.
- By Week 4, Day 3, in a minimum of 250 words, discuss how the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments affected the outcome of the case. Include answers to the following questions:
- Were any of the amendments violated?
- Can you suggest an interrogation method or strategy that may have affected the outcome of the case? Explain.
- What would you have done differently?
- What safeguards would you implement to prevent wrongful convictions as the result of false confessions?