Interrogation limitations

This young girl was kidnapped in FL a couple days ago. They have the kidnapping on video tape. They have arrested a guy that looks 99% like the guy on tape and he has a police record for abduction. He won’t talk. Why can’t they “drug” this guy with a truth serum to get him to talk?

Ehh, because we don’t live in 1900’s russia?

We cannot beat or drug a confession out of a possible suspect.

Let’s say your son happenned ot look like the guy on the tape and he was (wrongfully) arrested. You’d be ok with the cops drugging him up and getting a possibly fake confession out of him?

(Post got cut off) Someone forgot the hamster pellets!

I do know that there are some tactics that are allowed, including lying. The cops can lie to you like there’s no tomorrow.

Which is why you NEVER say jack to cops until your lawyer is present. Period. Wether you’re guilty or not.

Other interrogaiton tactics might be frowned upon, but I don’t think are illeagal such as depriving you of food/sleep for several hours at a time. Another reason to wait until your lawyer shows up.

Oh yeah, there are plenty of techniques that are legal or defensible. For instance, when we were initially interrogating Sadam, he was kept in a cold cell with the lights always on, not allowed to sleep for a long time, etc…

There’s also the minor detail that there’s no such thing as a “truth serum” - there are drugs, like scopolamine, which will cause disorientation and impair your judgment, making it more difficult to lie consistently, and more likely you’ll reply to a question with the first thing that comes into your head, but there is no magic potion which can compel you to speak the truth. (I’m told that a shot of scopolamine has much the same effect as a stiff whisky. If I’m ever held for unethical interrogation, I hope my interrogators will know that a good Scotch works just as well.)

Even if it worked reliably, as the linked article states, the US Supreme Court has ruled the use of “truth drugs” unconstitutional - I guess it would be that Fifth Amendment thing, wouldn’t it?

(See also on polygraphs. Basically, the notion that there are “scientific” interrogation techniques that infallibly distinguish between truth and falsehood is a fantasy.)

Too late shes dead.

As for interrogation, i dont know ‘what rules’ say you cannot as i am not a lawyer or a police officer. however i have read alot of info on interrogations and usually they just try to make the interviewee emotionally dependent on the interrogator so he can pump htem for into.

Damn. I do hope they catch the evil SOB who did it. Hopefully itwas the mechanic who did it, atleast he’s already in police custody.

That is really weird because Omnopon with Scopolamine used to be the almost universal surgical premed and I believe it is still in use today even though it was first used in the early 1900s. Scopolamine is also used in dermal patches to prevent motion sickness on long voyages. What a drug. Presumably if you go on a trip with your spouse and get them to wear a patch, you can find out the truth about those late nights at the office.

Scopolamine is a drug with several perfectly reasonable applications. (It’s also known as hyoscine, which is recommended by nine out of ten Dr. Crippens for the removal of unwanted wives, but that probably doesn’t count as a reasonable application.) Basically, it’s a sedative - it calms you down, hence its usefulness in pre-med shots and for travel sickness. (Some apologists for Crippen, actually, have suggested that he used the stuff to calm his wife’s - apparently unreasonable - sexual appetites, and only gave her an overdose by accident.)

What it won’t do is compel you to tell the truth - at least, any more than anything else which makes you woozy and likely to say stuff you wouldn’t if you were sober.

I noticed in the linked Yahoo! report that the police officer says: “We now stand ready to complete our obligation, and assure you that he will pay the ultimate price for what he did to her,”

Now in the UK, until you have been found guilty, I’m sure the police (reporters, or anyone publicly in fact) are not allowed to predetermine the judgement of a court of law - let alone the sentence - no matter how ‘obvious’ the evidence seems.

Similarly, there’ve been a few high profile cases recently where the newspapers published allegations (rape by a media celeb being one in particular) that were condemned by the law for risking an unfair trial. Is the law different in the US?

Here’s a question for one of the legal beagles out there… perhaps minty green:

This is obviously inspired by the Florida case, but let’s pose it as a hypothetical.

A man abucts a girl. Somehow or other, the man is identified and arrested, but the girl is still missing. The police work the guy over and get him to tell them where the girl is. In this case, we’ll assume that the girl is found where the man said, and is alive.

Clearly, the confession is inadmissable, as it was extracted by physical punishment. We all understand that much.

Suppose that the girl then identifies the man as her abductor. Can this testimony be admitted, or is it considered “fruit of the poisoned tree” because they police would not have been able to get her testimony if the man hadn’t told them where to find her?

IANALB (I am not a legal beagle) but the only thing that immediately comes to mind is that they might claim inevitable discovery for the girl…and subsequently her testimony could be used but the confession would still be tainted…

Sorry about replying to the hijack, but the original purpose of the thread seems to have been met, imo

Not sure who is old enough to remember the Charley Manson case, but during the trial he held up a newspaper that had the headlines: MANSON GUILTY, NIXON DECLARES. This nearly caused a mistrial. I think the judge told the jury to disregard the outburst and the trial continued. I believe Manson was not allowed in the courtroom after that incident.

I too find it rather strange that a law enforcement official can say, “he will pay the ultimate penalty”, before the man is tried. It now seems 100% certain this is the guy, but didn’t we have an OJ character not long ago under similar circumstances? This guy isn’t rich though, so I would say his chances escaping punishment highly unlikely.

Uh… our Minister of Foreign Affairs recently declared that the two Australians who were kidnapped by the USA and held in Guantanamo Bay were obviously guilty but that the government would do everything to ensure that there would be a fair trial!