If you took the money, would you tell us?
April 28, 2014 4:37 PM Subscribe
Someone I know was called in for questioning about some money that disappeared at the workplace, and told me about the kinds of questions asked. I can't figure out what the police were after with one of them.
posted by johnofjack to Law & Government (27 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
U.S. citizen here. A fair amount of money disappeared at the workplace of one of my friends. I got to hear about some of the questions asked. One of them was "if you took the money, would you tell us?", which actually made me laugh. If it had been me being questioned, I probably would have had trouble not laughing at the police; it just strikes me as such a stupid question. (I mean, really. What person would commit a crime and then tell the police about it? And who hasn't ever lied, even if it's just about whether you're bothered by some trifling thing that annoys you but that you don't want to make a big deal out of?)
Then I began to think of this as kind of a barbed question, and I can't figure out what the "right" answer would be.
In various discussions of interrogation techniques, some people emphasize looking for honesty, and others emphasize looking for "duper's delight." What if your honest reaction to this question was to laugh and/or say "wow! what a stupid question"?
Is this question the kind of thing where if someone did it, s/he would say "of course I'd tell you" to try to convince the police of their (feigned) honesty? Or is this the kind of thing where admitting that you wouldn't tell the cops about a theft is taken as "proof" of inherent dishonesty?
No, "someone I know" is not code for "me." No, I'm not in any legal trouble. No, you are not my lawyer. No, you may not be a lawyer at all. I would, however, appreciate some knowledgeable perspective on this, if any is available.