Psychology and Law Enforcement

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The investigative process is of utmost importance in the prevailingof justice as it ensures the right person is charged according to thecrimes that he or she committed. As a result, the investigativeprocess needs to be fair to ensure justice prevails. Without theinvestigative process, there exists no way of actually provingwhether a person committed a crime or not. The simplest way ofarriving at an investigation is through solving the questions of who,what, how and when. Once the questions get answered, then theinvestigation has at least moved along if not completed. Thisresearch paper is aimed at investigating the provisions of theConstitution for confessions and other kinds of evidence presented toany court. This paper is important as it offers the readerinformation on the criminal justice system and how it works.

Smalarz, L., Scherr, K. C., &amp Kassin, S. M. (2016). Miranda at50: A Psychological Analysis. Current Directions in PsychologicalScience, 25(6), 455-460.

The American justice system assumes everyone is innocent untilproven guilty and as a result protects the rights of suspects of anongoing investigation. Miranda means that the police department orany other investigative body is supposed to make the suspect aware ofhis or her right to remain silent and that they do not have to speakwithout the presence of a lawyer. This action is meant to ensure thatanything a suspect says or does is with an understanding of the lawand his or her rights under the law. Forced confessions are also notallowed in a court of law in the United States of America. If asuspect is questioned and confesses to a crime but was not read tohis or her rights before hand, the confession is not permissible incourt. Even after reading one their rights, police officers can useforce and other unlawful ways of making a suspect confess to a crime.This action is illegal, and if the court hears about it, theconfession will be disregarded as it was unlawful. In thecontemporary world police officers rarely use force, but unlawfulconfessions still occur. An example is if a suspect is questionedwhile he or she is in the emergency department of a hospital andconfesses to a crime. The constitution is aimed at protecting thesuspect’s rights and ensures free will and justice.

Granhag, P. A., Vrij, A., &amp Verschuere, B. (2015). Detectingdeception: current challenges and cognitive approaches. John Wiley &ampSons.

Deception detection systems are practices that are aimed at spottingthe lies a suspect may tell during an interrogation. Research hasproven that the ability for any person to tell if a person is lyingor not is more than mere luck, a person has a higher probability than50% of telling if a person is lying. Detection of deception is basedon the theory that a person displays signs of lying such asnervousness and other stress based clues. These signs are displayedsince the suspect is fearful of being caught in a lie or that he orshe will be exposed by the interrogation team. There is no single wayof detecting if a person is honest or not, however, new research isbeing conducted on the psychology of lying and new detection systems.In the contemporary world, lie detection involves also observingvisual signs of lying such avoiding eye contact and being restless.Scientist and psychologists, however, have a long way to go beforeintroducing an airtight system of detecting deception for courtprocedures.

Jackson, A. L. (2014). State v. Pierce: Refining the Standard forthe Admission of Polygraph Evidence. Tennessee Journal of Law &ampPolicy, 2(2), 6.

Polygraph tests are tests that are aimed at detecting whether anindividual is lying or telling the truth concerning a particularsubject. The polygraph tests work by testing for the psychologicalindicators that one is lying such as increased heart rate andperspiration. The law is not clear on the admissibility polygraphtests and the judge preceding over a particular case has the freedomto decide whether he or she will allow the tests to be used in thecourt and the parameters of its usage. The problem that exists withpolygraph tests is that the results can be tampered with and thesuspect can fool the detection system if he or she knows how itworks. A suspect can fool the tests by just being nervous about thetest. The same psychological indicators that show a person is lyingare the same ones that indicate nervousness. If a person is nervous,the polygraph cannot tell the difference between the person beingnervous and the person lying making the test worthless. A person canalso practice a particular lie so his or her body gets used to sayingthe lye and the polygraph system would not be able to pick up on thelie.


This paper concludes that the United States of America Constitutionhas protected the rights of all suspects who appear before a court oflaw. It is upon the prosecution to prove the guilt of any suspect.Deception systems are a vital part in the provision of justice, andmore research needs to be conducted in developing more accuratesystems.


Granhag, P. A., Vrij, A., &amp Verschuere, B.(2015). Detecting deception: currentchallenges and cognitive approaches.John Wiley &amp Sons.

Jackson, A. L. (2014). State v. Pierce: Refiningthe Standard for the Admission of Polygraph Evidence. TennesseeJournal of Law &amp Policy, 2(2),6.

Smalarz, L., Scherr, K. C., &amp Kassin, S. M.(2016). Miranda at 50: A Psychological Analysis. CurrentDirections in Psychological Science,25(6),455-460.