Police Lying to Suspects
Webcast Q&A: Sunday, 31 July 2011, Question 4
I answered a question on police lying to suspects on Philosophy in Action Radio on 31 July 2011. You can listen to or download the podcast segment below – or check out the whole episode.
Should the police lie to suspects in the course of an investigation? Police routinely do this, usually in order to trick people into admitting something or revealing information they would normally not reveal. Note that the people they lie to may not have been convicted of any crime, and are merely "persons of interest" or suspects. Is this routine constant lying moral? What do you think it does to the policeman's character after many years?
My Answer, In Brief: To suppose that the police must never misrepresent the facts in a criminal investigation is wrong – and rationalistic. However, precisely because the overriding goal must be the discovery of the truth about the crime, there are and ought to be limits about what the police can lie about.
- Download: MP3 Segment
- Duration: 16:42
You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
- NoodleFood: Police Interrogation
- Mental Illness, Police Interrogations, and the Potential for False Confession (PDF) in Law & Psychiatry by Allison D. Redlich, Ph.D.
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About Philosophy in Action Radio
I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My dissertation defended moral responsibility and moral judgment against the doubts raised by Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.
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