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Conducting the Interview - 14134_197
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Chapter 7 Court-Martial Trials - 14134_199
Be constantly aware of the human factors that affect a  witness’  ability  to  observe  and  describe  actions, articles, or circumstances related to the commission of a  crime.  The  age,  emotional  stability,  prejudices,  and general  reputation  of  a  witness  are  important  factors. The relation of the witness to the person connected with the  crime  is  extremely  important,  both  from  the  legal viewpoint  and  with  regard  to  the  reliability  of information  furnished  by  the  witness. Avoid  questions  of  a  leading  nature.  Direct  yes  or no answers to leading question are not valid information on which to base an investigation. An unstable person, a highly suggestible person, or a person whose memory of events is hazy will often give answers that were suggested to him or her by leading questions. Recording the Interview Attempt to record the interview for future reference. Interviews can be recorded as a statement initiated by the interviewee, recorded on an electronic recording device, or merely recorded in the form of notes taken by the investigator. SUMMARY Statements are elicited from persons with pertinent knowledge  regarding  the  offense  or  incident  under investigation. Written  statements  serve  as  permanent records  of  the  pretrial  testimony  of  complainants, victims, and witnesses. The written statement may be used in court as evidence to attest to what was told the investigator and to refresh the memory of the maker of the statement or the memory of the investigator. An  electronic  recording  device  provides  a convenient  means  of  preserving  the  content  of  an interview.  The  recordings  should  be  carefully  kept  in their  entirely,  together  with  stenographic  transcripts made  from  them.  A  complete  chain  of  custody  should be maintained for all such items as they may later prove valuable  in  legal  proceeings,  provided  they  can  be identified  and  authenticated. Take   notes   of   the   interview. Most   persons interviewed  have  no  objection  to  discreet  note-taking. Notes, however, should not be taken until the subject has had the opportunity to tell his or her story completely and to correct any honest mistakes that he or she made in the first telling.    Some  subjects  display  annoyance when you divert your attention from them to take notes. Other subjects are reluctant to talk when they know what they  say  is  being  recorded.  When  either  of  these situations is apparent, the best time to write down the details  of  an  interview  is  immediately  after  it  is completed. By  now  you  should  be  aware  of  the  various  and important  tasks  involved  with  pretrial  administrative procedures and how they affect the military justice system.  Your role as an LN is important to this system, and the invaluable service you provide to your attorneys enhances   the   morale   and   efficiency   of   served commands.  Also, keep in mind that the tasks noted throughout ths chapter require that you keep current of requirements  levied  as  a  result  of  appellate  decisions  and congressional   actions. 6-46

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