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Interrogate  Witnesses

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Interrogate Witnesses You can obtain a significant amount of infor- mation from the witnesses. Start by interrogating the person who initiated the report and the people listed as witnesses. You may discover other persons having relevant information when questioning these people. Don’t begin the inquiry by interrogating the accused. The accused has the greatest motive for lying or distorting the truth—if the accused is guilty. Leave the interrogation of the accused until last. Even when the accused has admitted guilt, you should first collect all other evidence collaborating the confession of the accused. Request that witnesses who have relevant information make a sworn statement. If you interview a witness by telephone, write a summary of the interview and certify it to be true. Elicit all relevant information during your interview of a witness. One method is to start with a general survey question. Ask the witness to relate everything he or she knows about the case. Then follow-up with more specific questions. After speaking with the witness, help the witness write a statement that is thorough, relevant, orderly, and clear. The substance of the statement must consist of the witness’s thoughts, knowledge, or beliefs about the accused. Limit your assistance to helping the witness express himself or herself accurately and effectively in writing. Figure 2-5.-Suspect’s Rights Acknowledgment/Statement (Front). 2-6



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