chapter  6
16 Pages

Confessions by sex offenders

WithMichel St-Yves

Research into police questioning has shown that several factors influence the outcome of an interview with a suspect, one of the most important of which is the attitude of the investigator (Shepherd 1991; Moston and Engelberg, 1993; Williamson 1993; Stephenson and Moston 1994; Holmberg and Christianson 2002). The interview techniques used also have a bearing on the interview (Leo 1996; Inbau et al. 2001). Some of the subject’s characteristics – such as his or her age and sex (Phillips and Brown 1998), ethnic group (Pearse et al. 1998; St-Yves 2002), prior experiences with the judicial system (Neubauer 1974; Softley 1980; Evans 1993; Leo 1996) and personality (Gudjonnsson and Petursson 1991; Gudjonnsson and Sigurdsson 1999; St-Yves 2002) – can also influence whether a subject makes a confession or not. The nature and severity of the crime are also factors that play an important role (Neubauer 1974; Moston et al. 1992). This is particularly true when the crime is of a sexual crime nature (Gudjonnsson and Sigurdsson 2000; Holmberg and Christianson 2002; St-Yves 2002, 2004b).