On television, the police detective often “plays a hunch,” a gut feeling about a difficult case based on experience, a small piece of evidence, or even nothing at all. It usually works out to the benefit of all.
In real life, however, that’s a dangerous game.
Prosecutors and those who study the criminal justice system and the life-threatening mistakes it makes, and they are concluding that a major source of error is investigative procedure.
Much of the national attention to justice mistakes has focused on wrongful convictions that send innocent individuals to prison—or in some cases to Death Row. But a growing body of scholarship has begun to examine why criminal investigations can go so badly wrong at the “gateway” to the system. “The consequences of investigative failure are huge,” said D. Kim Rossmo, a criminologist at Texas State University, noting that sending the wrong individual to prison for murder meansthe real killer is still at large. Source: A Detective’s Worst Foe: ‘Flawed Thinking’ | The Crime Report
One of the things they are discussing is “confirmation bias,” zeroing in on evidence that confirms suspicions rather than scrupulously subjecting it to thorough examination and skepticism. This article in The Crime Report briefly describes where this line of thinking is taking us.
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