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Did he really plan on shooting anyone?

 

Speaking with the police is always fraught with peril. While you may believe, and the police may tell you, the just want to talk, in reality, they never "just want to talk." That is only one of the many interrogative techniques that are favored in just about every law enforcement agency in Missouri and the U.S.

When you are speaking to the police, they are likely steering your conversation in such a way that they obtain the result they expect or need. If you are suspect in a crime or are merely "part of the investigation," you should beware. In most cases, they want you to confess to something, as they do not have time to waste resources on idle chatter.

 

If you suffer any mental impairment, you are at an even greater risk of making a statement that could implicate you in a crime, even in cases where no crime actually occurred. One man in Missouri has a case going to the state Supreme Court to determine if his conviction is valid.

He had purchased guns. He had suffered depression. He went target shooting. He gave the guns to his girlfriend's father. That is the extent of the solid evidence against him. Was he about to go on a mass killing spree? Or, because of his mental condition, was he confused and manipulated into confessing actions he never actually contemplated?

You see, a police interrogation is something no one ever wants to endure. The history of American law is replete with example after example of police manipulating or coercing confessions. Ordinary people have been talked into confessing by police simply to end the ordeal.

That a man suffering from mental illness could be sent to prison with no evidence of wrongdoing and on only the thinnest of speculation seems truly criminal.

Source: news-leader.com, "Behind bars for just thinking?" Jackie Rehwald, September 18, 2015

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