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An Outlandish Tool Police Across the Nation Use Regularly


California residents may be interested in learning about a tool that often used in police departments but is not so well known to the public. This tool is called Scientific Content Analysis. It is referred to as SCAN for short. While it is used in agencies across the nation, there is no reliable science to back it up.

The creators of SCAN have made the process of using it simple. The first thing an agent would do is give the suspect of a crime a pen and paper. Next, the individual accused of the crime would be asked to write down what happened at the time the crime occurred. Finally, the agent would use the training they received to analyze the information provided by the suspect. More than 400 agencies, everything from military agencies to small-town police stations, have received training using this tool.

Part of the process to assess the credibility and attack deception involves looking at the way a suspect described the events that took place. In one case where a man was accused of murder, instead of writing that "he went home," he just wrote "went home," which, according to the SCAN training, signaled deception.

Despite the fact that this tool is being used in many agencies across the nation, there is no solid backing behind it. The tool rarely makes it into the courtroom because it is too unreliable. SCAN is looked at in the same way that photo analysis and bloodstain pattern analysis are used. They are analytical techniques that may guide an investigator.

Being accused of a crime is a serious matter. A person may want to speak with a criminal defense attorney. These attorneys are not just individuals who are guilty of a crime. The attorney could examine the evidence and represent a client in court. They may help raise doubts about analytical tools that pointed to the individual is being guilty, perhaps using evidence to show that they have no scientific backing.

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