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Hypnotism in the Justice System

Please describe what you were doing on the date and time of ...
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This Idea is for all those who are scooped up by Law Enforcement, who claim they are innocent, but there is difficulty verifying the alibi. Under hypnosis an innocent person can recall all sorts of verifiable details, regarding where he or she was, besides being at the scene of the crime.

Note such hypnosis must be voluntary not mandatory, due to the right to avoid self-incrimination. Logically, though, innocent persons should be quite willing to be hypnotized, unless guilty of some OTHER crime at the relevant date and time. Perhaps the hypnotist needs to be a "3rd party", such that if some other crime is revealed, the confession of that crime can remain sealed, while the hypnotist can verify that the accused is in fact innocent of the crime for which the arrest was made.

Vernon, May 10 2015

What about this guy? http://www.latimes....20140623-story.html
what about him? [2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 12 2015]


       [Vernon], please tell my why you came up with this idea.   

       Please tell me why you came up with this idea.   

       Please tell me why you...   

       Please tell me why...   

       (you are becoming very sleepy...)
normzone, May 10 2015

       [normzone], certainly. I was contemplating the data indicating that most crimes are committed by about 2% of the population, and that the death penalty often does tend to inhibit would-be criminals. The problem with simply executing that 2% of the population is that some percentage of those currently "serving time" are actually innocent.   

       Therefore, how might the justice system be improved to make it more likely that innocent persons will NOT get convicted? This Idea seemed to offer a possibility.   

       Now, I am aware that it is known that an unscrupulous hypnotist can guide a session toward a nefarious end. That means we need the "3rd party" in the main text to be more than one hypnotist, making sure that the session is conducted as Objectively as possible.
Vernon, May 11 2015

       [Vernon] Are you sure you won't be introducing a case within a case? Two sets of juries. Scientific facts even can be contentious.
wjt, May 11 2015

       Aren't there some folks who can't be hypnotised? Would it even be possible to tell if someone was faking it?   

       The secret to hypnosis, is making the subject believe in hypnosis. There are some types of mini- hypno techniques that take advantage of cognitive functions and kind of 'jam' them - but the "get on stage and act like a chicken" style of hypnosis is more about being given permission to be silly rather than anything special.
There's probably something to calming the mind before trying to remember past events, and the relaxation-techniques normally associated with hypnosis might help here - but I wouldn't say it was real or reliable evidentially.
zen_tom, May 11 2015

       So... we shouldn't throw out the sodium pentothal quite yet is what your saying.   

       [zen tom], did you miss the part of the original text that indicated that hypnosis might dredge up some VERIFIABLE data about where the innocent person was or was doing, at the time of the crime?
Vernon, May 11 2015

       The only problem I can see with this is that if someone fails to respond to hypnosis, it would imply (falsely, perhaps) that they were guilty.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 11 2015

       [MaxwellBuchanan], if this Idea can REDUCE the rate at which innocent persons are convicted, that alone should be a valid reason to implement it. And it is well-known that not everyone can be hypnotized. Therefore, that should not count against anyone. The detectives would simply need to try harder, to either prove the accused was guilty, or to prove the accused was innocent --just as they are SUPPOSED to do already.
Vernon, May 11 2015

       "When you awake, you will hypnotize the witness from a neutral stance and not try to influence his testimony in any way..."
RayfordSteele, May 11 2015

       Now that you've drawn my attention to it, I accept, it's clearer than before - but that still leaves the body of my points intact - i.e. all but the part about relaxation- techniques helping people relive/recall events they might otherwise feel levels of stress over - but I don't think that's anything different than someone talking to you gently and calmly and building trust that way. Yes, that's one way of defining hypnosis, but it's important to clear the decks of all the remaining "you are getting sleepy" Mesmirism baggage - it was after-all invented as a parlour-trick/stage-show by the same Victorians who brought you spiritualism and the ouija-board.
zen_tom, May 11 2015

       [zt] I'm skeptical, but I have been put into a very light trancelike state, by a hypnotist doing his stuff on stage in a club. It was noticeably different from simply "calm and relaxed". I had just arrived, so prodigious amounts of alcohol wasn't a factor.
FlyingToaster, May 11 2015

       //This Idea is for all those who are scooped up by Law Enforcement//

That's a touchingly sentimental image of law enforcement there, Vernon!
DrBob, May 11 2015

       [FT] it's not an experience I've had - though I must admit to being curious - however, I think I may have spoiled it for myself having arrived at the conclusion described above - that doesn't mean it doesn't work, or isn't real, just that it may be a subjective experience that relies on a fair amount of psychology - a psychology that many of us share, but which might not be universal.
zen_tom, May 12 2015


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