Statement Analysis, Part Two

By Sumpter, J. L. | Law & Order, December 2008 | Go to article overview

Statement Analysis, Part Two


Sumpter, J. L., Law & Order


Officer: "Tell me everything you did the night your wife was murdered?" Suspect: "I went to our home, fed our dog and went to bed." How much is missing from the suspect's answer? A lot. But more important, what is missing and why?

A truthful statement has information that is... the truth. This statement is long, full, and gives the officer a complete depiction of what occurred during the night of the crime. It has an equal beginning, middle and end, and at times, the most important part of the answer has the most information.

To adequately assess the suspect's information, we must get both a written and verbal statement. This may be contrary to what has been taught in the past. When the interview hits a wall and information is not flowing, an officer needs to begin locking in the suspect's information. This is best done by first getting a written statement then countering it with a verbal interview. Sometimes, this is not always feasible.

Officers who obtain a written statement are better able to gauge the length if an answer and the use of words to the suspect's normal communication. After obtaining a written statement, first look to see the length of the description for each topic. For instance, does the suspect spend more time talking about trivial information compared to the actual event?

To get more technical, the officer can take the statement and divide it into paragraphs. Each paragraph depicts one area of thought. Take each thought and count the number of words for each sentence. Total the number of words in the thought and divide it by the number of sentences. This gives you the average number of words in each sentence. After obtaining the average, the officer begins probing for sentences that are significantly above or below the average.

The officer should ask why a certain part of the suspect's thought took more or less time to describe. Why did the suspect feel he needed to give great detail in one area compared to another? As the officer begins questioning the suspect's statement, he should ask a number of questions. 1) Does the suspect lack conviction in the follow-up interview compared to the written statement? 2) Is the suspect's follow-up statement more or less generalized? 3) Do the "tenses" change. That is, does the suspect change from past to present from the written to verbal statement? 4) Does the average length of description differ? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Statement Analysis, Part Two
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.