forensic writing assignment

Written Assignment - In place of the practical exercises you will each be required to submit a Written Assignment.

The assignment is to be five pages in length (12 font, double-spaced, approximately 1200 words).

The written assignment will be worth 30% of your final grade

The written assignment is due by midnight, Friday, April 3rd, 2020.

You are to submit your completed assignments to me in pdf format attached to an email.

As part of the written assignment you are required to view any 30-minute portion of the two-hour and fifty-three-minute recorded interview of criminal suspect Alek Minassian conducted by Detective Rob Thomas, Toronto Police.

The full police interrogation of Minassian is available on YouTube. The link is provided here: [login to view URL]

On the basis of viewing any 30-minute portion of the interview, you are required to identify and discuss three or more of the following issues that you observed during the interview and explain in detail why you think they are important. You are also required to state at what point in the interview you observed the issues you choose to discuss.

For example, if you were discussing the interviewer asking the suspect if he needed to use the washroom, you would start that discussion by stating something like: “At (1:22:12) I observed the interviewer ask the suspect if he needed to use the washroom. This is important because …”. The numbers in brackets indicate (hours : minutes : seconds), so in the example given above, the observation would have been made at the 1 hour, 22 minute, 12 second, point in the interview.

Each discussion related to a particular observation in your paper MUST begin with a time reference; if your discussion of a particular issue does not include a specific time reference you will not receive credit for that portion of your assignment.

Examples of issues that you may wish to discuss include:

Legal issues: (e.g., rights to counsel; primary & secondary cautions; access to a lawyer; did suspect understand his legal rights; did suspect understand his legal jeopardy; was suspect given more than one opportunity to speak to a lawyer; etc.)

Physical/Mental health issues: (e.g., was the suspect injured; did the suspect need medical treatment; did the suspect have an “operating mind”; was the suspect on any medication; etc.)

Comfort/Needs issues: (e.g., was the suspect offered use of the washroom, food, water; had the suspect had sufficient sleep before the interview; etc.)

Interview room set up: (e.g., how was the interview room set up; where was furniture placed; where did the interviewer and suspect sit; what was the overall “feel” of the interview room; what items did you observe in the room and why do think they were there; etc.)

Interviewing approach: (e.g., what approach did the interviewer take to questioning the suspect, was it “hard” or “soft”; did it follow a particular interview model, if so, which model; how did the suspect respond to questioning, give examples of when he chose to talk and when he chose not to talk; how did the interviewer respond to the suspect when he chose not to speak; how did the interviewer respond to the suspect when he explained his motive for the attack; etc.)

Information obtained: (e.g., what information would you require from a suspect charged with multiple counts of murder/attempt murder; what was the mens rea and actus reus of the offence(s) and did the interviewer obtain evidence about these elements of the offence(s) from the suspect; how much information did the interviewer obtain about the suspect’s planning and motivation for the attack; how much of the suspect’s “personal story” did the interviewer obtain and why was this important; etc.)

Skills: Research Writing, Research, Article Writing, Report Writing, Technical Writing

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