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Questionable police technique used widely across the country

| Dec 18, 2019 | Criminal Defense |

When Texas residents are accused of a crime that they haven’t committed, they may attempt to clear their name by speaking to the police. Because they are not guilty, they may believe that they just need to tell their stories and they will be able to move on. However, this is far from always the case. Police may identify a suspect and do anything possible to try to obtain a conviction, regardless if the suspect is actually guilty of the crime. They may be so fixed on a particular suspect that they may push aside other evidence or theories pointing to a different perpetrator.

As a result, people may be wrongfully convicted or accept a plea bargain. While police investigative techniques are often featured on television dramas, their inaccuracy often goes unexamined. Many types of questionable forensic practices have been exposed after they are used as evidence in court. A criminal defense lawyer may challenge techniques as unscientific or unreliable, and some miscarriages of justice have been overturned this way.

However, some unproven techniques continue to be widely used by police departments despite a lack of reliable evidence backing them up. One of these is called SCAN, for Scientific Content Analysis. Police are trained to read suspects’ written statements and interpret them for signs of deception. While scientists have shown that the technique is unreliable, it continues to be used in police interrogations, although it is rarely entered in court.

Lawyers often advise people who are accused of a crime to be wary of speaking to the police without representation. A criminal defense attorney may help people facing criminal charges to protect themselves from police and prosecution allegations and work to prevent a conviction.