- Starting Narrative on an Incident
- ask whether they were witness to an incident [describe incident in general terms including rough date], a simple yes or no would do [prior witnesses would establish a foundation to the existence of an incident].
- DON'T start by asking "what, if anything, happened on" so-and-so date
- establish the general time and location of the incident
- ask them to tell what happened by beginning at events immediately before the incident and be sure to tell times, places and names of people when known.
- ask them about (1) the context of the first involvement in the incident and then (2) "walk us through it".
- Uncertain of Quantum (time, duration, distance, height)
- establish that they cannot say the answer
- invite them to give best estimate
- confront them with implausible amounts and get them to deny them.
- gradually ask about growingly likely amounts on the upper and lower end.
- Consider taking a typical common sense point of reference from their lives
- Avoid exploring minor inconsistencies or implausibile statements that hurt your position without direct contradiction.
- Consider the importance or value of the contradiction:
- An accused who lies to police about minor points is relatively low value. Only limited time should be spent on that.
Honest But Mistaken Witness / Conclusory Claim Witness
- Explore Foundation for Conclusion
- Was it assumed
- Was it learned second hand
- When Did Fact Become Important
- Explore personal importance of observation at the time
- Explore whether the events were recorded
- Explore time when they were notified of importance of this memory
- Explore efforts to remember in response to the notification.
- Comment that the answer is not responsive
- Did he understand the question
- Was the answer responsive to the
- Memory Problems
- If they say "I don't recall", consider whether they are saying that there is no memory one way or another
- consider asking about whether it would "be expected" or "surprise" that the circumstances would be one way vs another.