High-Risk Interrogation: Using the “Mr. Big Technique” to Elicit Confessions
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- Smith, S.M., Stinson, V. & Patry, M.W. Law Hum Behav (2010) 34: 39. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9203-y
Kassin et al. (Police-Induced Confessions: Risk Factors and Recommendation, 2009) provide a detailed and thoughtful analysis of how police interrogation practices might elicit false confessions from innocent suspects. The purpose of this commentary is to provide a brief review of a relatively recent development in Canadian police investigation practice and discuss how this procedure may increase the likelihood of police-induced false confessions. The so-called “Mr. Big Technique” is a non-custodial interrogation tactic wherein suspects are drawn into a supposed criminal organization (actually an elaborate police sting) and subsequently told that to move up in the organization, they must confess to a crime. In this article, we describe this remarkable interrogation technique and discuss issues relevant to the potential induction of false confessions.