Shortly after a fire had killed her handicapped child, a mother was asked to come to police headquarters to talk with a detective. The mother knew that her two older children had been questioned at school but had no idea what the detectives wanted with her. She was questioned for several hours at the police department. After questioning, she was arrested and charged with the murder of her child, charged with deliberately starting a fire by throwing a blanket over a space heater next to the child’s crib.Procedures in the Justice System Later in the investigation, the detective questioned the father. During the questioning, the detective claimed he also had a special needs child and that he and his wife often thought of hurting their child and even thought and said to one another that the child would be better off dead. The detective claimed the father repeatedly stated that “a special needs child needs to be with God and suffer no longer.”The interrogator asked the mother if she had these kinds of thoughts as well. He asked variations of this question until the mother eventually acknowledged that it was possible that she may have thought about it.Eventually, during the interrogation, the detective also threatened to charge the two older children with murder, telling the mother that they were suspects if she was not the one who started the fire. At this point, she dissociated and responded to this threat with high anxiety, confusion, and stress. The detective falsely told the mother that they had conclusive evidence that the fire started from the space heater, although no tests had been done at that point in the investigation. He had also falsely told her during the beginning of the interrogation that there was no intention to charge her.The evaluation of the mother indicated that she was most likely dissociating at times during the investigation. She never admitted to purposefully choosing to throw the blanket on the space heater, but only that it might have happened inadvertently without her knowledge. She never admitted to wanting the child dead but only to the possibility that part of her may have wanted that to happen.1. Was this interrogation within the legal ramifications regarding case law? Cite case law that deals with detectives sympathizing, using deceit, or minimizing the moral seriousness of the offense.2. Should any of the mother’s confession be admitted into court as evidence? Why, or why not?
Were any of the mother’s rights violated? Explain your response
What are your concluding thoughts on this case scenario?