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Posted on April 12th, 2014, by

Hence, it is possible to suggest that video- and audio-records can enhance truthfulness of responses of witnesses during interrogations because they grow more aware of their legal responsibility and psychologically they become more responsible as they know that their responses are recorded accurately. In this regard, the study involving interrogators and witnesses can be used, during which both interrogators and witnesses can provide their opinion on the use of video- and audio-records during interrogations and the impact of recording on the responses of witnesses.

New in the Proposed Study

The proposed study focuses on truthfulness and its relevance to video- and audio-recording that is new in the study of recording impact on witnesses since other studies focused on psychological impact or other effects of recording of interrogations without assessing and evaluating truthfulness as the key element of interrogation of witnesses.

Methodology

The study involves two groups of subjects. The first group consists of interrogators, who have different experience of interrogations and who may provide their expert opinion on responses of witnesses, when video- and audio-records are applied. The second group will consist of witnesses, who have already passed through the interrogation process. They will respond concerning the actual or potential (if their interrogations have not been recorded yet) impact of video- and audio-records on their responses and truthfulness. Interrogators and witnesses will be of different age, educational level, social and racial background.

Subjects were selected randomly from interrogators and witnesses. To select interrogators, a police department was contacted, while witnesses were recruited online. Hence, interviews involving interrogators were conducted face-to-face, while interviews involving witnesses were conducted online in video chats. All participants were informed of the goal of the study and their participation was based on their enthusiasm to help to study the impact of video- and audio-recording on witnesses.

The study will consist of interviews designed specifically for interrogators and witnesses. Each group will respond to interviews, while the responses are recorded. Later the recorded responses will be processed by the researcher and the obtained information will be analyzed carefully to obtain findings that will either prove or deny the hypothesis that audio- and video-recording of interrogations can have a positive impact on the truthfulness of witnesses during interrogations. Interviews of interrogators will be face-to-face interviews, while interviews of witnesses will be conducted online with the help of video chat.

Interviews for interrogators will contain the following questions:

What experience of interrogations do you have?

How long have you been using audio- or video-recording in the course of interrogations?

Have you ever noticed any difference in the behavior or responses of witnesses during conventional interrogation and the interrogation with audio- or video-recording?

Have you ever used audio- or video-records of interrogations to prove your righteousness or the deception from the part of witnesses?

How do you think audio- and video-recording of interrogations have influenced the interrogation process?

How do you think audio- and video-recording of interrogations have influenced the behavior and responses of witnesses?

How do you think audio- and video-recording of interrogations have influenced you behavior and style of interrogations?

Do you think video- or audio-recording of interrogations is necessary? Why?

Interview questions for witnesses are as follows:

Have you ever been involved in interrogations?

Have your interrogation been recorded?

What means of recording have been used?

What did you feel when the video- or audio-recording of your interrogation has started?

Do you think you would respond differently, if your interrogation has not been recorded?

Did you feel comfortable during the recorded interrogation?

How would you describe the behavior and style of interrogators?

Do you think video- or audio-recording of interrogations have played a restrictive part on your interrogators?

Do you think video- or audio-recording of interrogations is necessary? Why?

All respondents will sign the informed consent and they will participate in the study on the condition of anonymity. Their names and actual position will never be disclosed. In such a way, subjects of the study will feel secure and, therefore, they will provide accurate and true responses to the questions in the course of interviews. As information is collected, it will be processed by the researcher. The researcher will identify similarities and contradictions in responses of subjects and make key findings of the study on the ground of which the researcher can make conclusions concerning the proposed study.

Conclusion and Research Implications

Thus, the study focusing on the research of the impact of video- and audio recording of interrogations can help to reveal whether the recording can help to increase truthfulness of responses of witnesses and how recording of interrogations can influence responses of witnesses at large. In fact, the study is likely to prove the hypothesis, taking into consideration the fact that other studies have already revealed that video- and audio-recording can influence witnesses during interrogations. At the same time, the current study will open the way for the further studies in the field of the possible positive impact of video- and audio recording of interrogations on witnesses’ accuracy and truthfulness. The further study of issues raised in the proposed study will be essential because the proposed study gives insights toward the understanding of the impact of interrogations on truthfulness of witnesses and their behavior during interrogations under the impact of video- and audio-recording.

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