Face-to-face interviews involve a complex process where interviewer needs to exhibit neutral approach and avoid circumstances that lead to intimidation of the participant. Taking notes or using recording equipment during the first stage of interview process is important for maintaining record of the brief details related to the criminal or accused. The central reason for using recording equipment is to transcribe the information and utilize it for assessment of the interview process. The notes also help in reminding the questions that need more clarity. Interpreting personalities of participants becomes more convenient through recordings and notes. Interviewer is sometimes unable to listen to the participant attentively due to distraction thus making the use of recording machines more significant. Notes are also useful in preparing follow-up questions based on the previous interaction. Another advantage of using equipment’s involve time saving as the interviewer does not asks the questions over and over again. Understanding participant’s involvement in crime becomes easier. The interviewer is unable to retain all the information accurately in his memory thus making equipment more practical under such circumstances (Bailey).
Recording devices are important for assessing the opinions, feelings and individual experiences of the participant. The strengths of employing recording techniques involve eliciting in-depth responses and addressing sensitive topics more appropriately. It provides clear idea of the interpretive perspectives of the participants. The technique allows learning about the beliefs and personality that helps in identification of the right person. Recording permits interviewer to uncover reactions of respondent in different conditions and how he generate responses to different scenarios. Transcription through recordings provides the contextual details of the accused. It is easy to identify anticipated risks associated with a certain person and also provides details of his behavior. Audible data helps in decision making and comparing the personality attributes of different participants. The interview that involves recordings and notes permits to prepare trial and reveals facts related to event (Stuckey).
Witness competency and credibility remains one of the serious concerns in criminal investigations. Law does not consider the opinion of incompetent or incredible witness. Competency and credibility involve issues that apply to potential witness. Issues arises when the witness involve mentally incapacitated persons, child and previously hypnotized witnesses. In case of mentally incapacitated witnesses assessment of their psychological state remains one of the serious concerns. Conducting psychological examination is difficult. To address the matter the committee needs to consider the results of the psychological examination. Another method to document the issue involves experts’ testimony. Considering child as a witness in criminal judgments also poses serious risks as it raises questions of incompetency. The general idea states that young children confuse the facts that lead to misjudgment. However the decision of witness chances according to children as law states that all children are unique. To document the issue the investigator needs to ensure that the child taken as witness is capable of differentiating between truth and lie. The child must also be able to remember the event and facts. Special rules 18. UC. C.A s3509 identify children as competent witness and support exclusion only in case of compelling reasons. Taking previously hypnotized people as witnesses also poses threats as they suffer for diminished peripheral awareness. Pseudo memories and consciousness can affect their judgment. The US court does not exclude such people and considers them competent witness. However the decision of court varies according to states. In documenting such issue it is important to assess the mental capability of the witness. Considering people for strict religious beliefs as witness also exerts risks. The appropriate way to document them is to assess if they exhibit biases (Deliesle).
Bailey, Julia. “First steps in qualitative data analysis: transcribing.” Family Practice, 25.2 (2008).
Deliesle, R. “Witnesses: Competence and Credibility.” Osgoode Hall Law Journal 2.1 (1978).
Stuckey, Heather L. “The first step in Data Analysis: Transcribing and managing qualitative research data.” METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES IN SOCIAL HEALTH AND DIABETES RESEARCH 2.1 (2013).