The Mindful Eyewitness Interview : Retrieving Cognitive Evidence book cover
1st Edition

The Mindful Eyewitness Interview
Retrieving Cognitive Evidence

  • Available for pre-order on May 22, 2023. Item will ship after June 12, 2023
ISBN 9781032200798
June 12, 2023 Forthcoming by CRC Press
416 Pages 230 Color & 156 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Mindful Eyewitness Interview: Retrieving Cognitive Evidence assists investigators in gathering authentic, reliable information from eyewitnesses to identify the culprit, and improving the gathering of reliable information from private sector interviewers. It’s a resource that offers the reader evidence-based techniques to enhance gathering reliable evidence and reveals the assessment component that measures the reliability of cognitive evidence. 

It is notable that currently there is minimal to no instruction or training offered to those individuals most-often tasked with interviewing an eyewitness about a criminal investigation. This fact is reflected in recent revelations of cases involving misidentifications and wrongful convictions of innocent people. The assumption that officials, trained in the rules of evidence, are asking the questions without proper understanding of the fragility of human memory. The reality is that eyewitness interview training is cursory at best, and most often nonexistent. Despite the lack of training and certification, we allow interviewers to practice in the face of well-established research on the malleability of human memory.

Considering this current justice reform on best practices, The Mindful Eyewitness Interview provides a path forward, detailing how the interviewer can conduct information-gathering strategies of questioning anyone in a mindful manner. The book uses cognitive research to inform the methods and principles for a mindful approach—without being wholly or overly prescriptive. This is the best way to elicit reliable accounts and information, and use evidence-based lines of questioning, to perform interviews that elicit the most reliable information for investigative purposes. 

Table of Contents

Part I: Perspectives  1. Introduction  2. A Different Path  Part II: Establishing Principles  3. Cognitive Evidence  4. The Detective Mind  5. Heuristics of Interviewing Eyewitnesses  6. Investigating Mindfulness  Part III: How We Interview Eyewitnesses  7. Mindful of the Innocent  8. Mindful of Interrogations  9. Empathetic Strategy  Part IV: Mindful Interview Method  10. Principles Behind Mindful Interview Method  11. How to perform the Mindful Interview Method  Part V: Meta-eyewitness Interviews  12. Eyewitness Interview Paradigm  13. Eyewitness Interview Training  14. Measuring the Noise  Part VI: Analyzing Case Studies  15. Case Study#1  16. Case Study #2  17. Case Study #3  18. Case Study #4  19. Case Study #5  Part VII: Expectations  20. Expectations and Future Research  Appendix A - Category of Questions and Comments  Appendix B - Sample MIM Script  Appendix C - Forensic Art Indexing  Appendix D - List of All Case Studies  Appendix E - Case Study Transcripts and EEIA Summary Reports

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Gil Zamora retired from the San Jose Police Department in 2011 as the police artist. During his time there, he interviewed well over 3,000 eyewitnesses to crimes ranging from indecent exposure to murder. He was certified in the FBI Composite Art technique in 1993 and apprenticed with renowned police artist, Tom Macris, from 1992 - 1995. He developed his own interview methodology, Compositure (1998), based on the cognitive interview technique and focused on the elimination of post event information to stimulate eyewitness memory. His interview technique led him to help solve several hundreds of investigations in the Bay Area and testify as an expert forensic artist in various criminal court cases. Mr. Zamora was a senior instructor (from 2000 - 2014) in the cognitive interview technique and trained investigators throughout the state of California in advance interview techniques certified by P.O.S.T. He provided annual training for SJPD investigators coming into the bureau to inform them about forensic art resources to help in their investigations. Mr. Zamora is a frequent speaker at local universities, victim advocacy groups, and law enforcement agencies.