The Dark Side of Visual Recording in the Suspect Interview: An Empirical and Experiential Study of the Unexpected Impact of Video Images

  • Makoto IbusukiEmail author


The video-recording of police interrogations of suspects has become widespread in criminal justice systems and is routinely regarded by legal professionals and lay people alike as a means of protecting the rights of suspects and reducing the likelihood of coerced or false confessions. This study, based on evidence from Japan and experiments conducted in Tokyo as well as cases and reinforced by studies from elsewhere, finds that the way visual images of suspects and their narratives are depicted on film can, on the contrary, be misleading. Not only lay participants in trials, but also legal professionals, may be misled into accepting unreliable confessions. Indeed the very power of visual images to convince viewers calls for great caution in their use. Possible solutions include the use of independent expert witnesses to evaluate the reliability of visual recordings and the restriction of taped evidence to audio tracks.


Evidence False confession Police interview Video images Wrongful conviction 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seijō UniversityTokyoJapan

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