Why do police always want to know the suspect's motive?

I've never understood that, the suspect's motive I don't think has any effect on the case. And why should a suspect share the motive? Why do police want to know the motive?

Updates:
I guess a better question would be, why should the suspect share the motive?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • For starters, someone should only share their motive if they're going to admit guilt. If they're just a suspect and they're trying to maintain an innocent status then it would be stupid of them to give a motive. But as for a guilty party giving their motive, it can help them if they have a sympathetic reason for committing the crime. For instance with a "crime of passion." A judge or jury is more likely to go easy on you if you killed your spouse because you caught them cheating on you as opposed to killing them because you just didn't want to be married any more.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Suspects don't necessarily share a motive. They would more likely share why they would NOT have a motive for said crime. The interrogator on the other hand is working to find a potential motive.

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    • Why is the interrogator trying to find a motive?

    • To determine if you have any reasons for having done what you are accused of.
      If you are a billionaire since many years ago and suddenly accused of bank robbery for a few millions then it's not very likely that you did that.

      If you on the other hand are extremely poor, have a dying mother in need of expensive surgery etc then there is a clear motive why you might actually have done what you are accused of. It doesn't mean that you have done it but it means that it can be worth investigating this further.

What Girls Said 4

  • Sadly Just today, @Avalon4, two Virgina Journalists were Gunned down this morning for no reason of the season at all. The Police have their Suspect, a disgruntled Other Journalist who works or worked there and Now, they want to Catch him ALIVE, hopefully Not being Forced to Kill him if they can help it so they can find out if he will Possibly... Share the motive with police.
    Interrogation and long hours and a hot light, more often is a Delight for the cops when Questioning their man or woman in Custody at hand. The guy or girl many times on the spot Finally... Break and the cops then Break the case.
    In this case, face to face, they want to know More in store that if he is the Actual shooter, who was linked to the killings, were there any More and What was his Own Motive, either Alone or Hooked to some other Suspect or Suspects who may still be out there looking and lurking to do it Once more.
    Good luck. xx

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  • Motive = REASON for committing the crime.

    Suspect 1 = had a shouting match with murder victim the night before.
    Suspect 2 = his girlfriend was raped by murder victim.
    Suspect 3 = was best mates with murder victim.

    Who out of the three is the most likely to hold a grudge?

    Motive is CRUCIAL to figuring out who's guilty.

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  • Maybe they don't have enough evidence and they need the motive to prove they actually did it.
    Sometimes the suspect lies about whether they did it or not - covering up for someone else... so they need to make sure. I guess.

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  • Because that's there job !

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    • Thanks captain obvious.

    • If you already know the answer why are you asking? Suspects will never or hardly share their motive because it will incriminate them even more, so off course its up to the cops to do their job and find clues or reasons why the did what they did.. So simple.

What Guys Said 8

  • I'd imagine it has to do with the trial. Part of proving guilt is establishing a motive. I'm sure there are cases where there were eyewitnesses that aren't as dependent on motives, but I assume most crimes are at least attempted to be covert, so you're going on suppositions that someone was at a certain place and committed a certain act. That's where motive can persuade a judge and/or jury to conclude that a suspect did it.

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  • Murder is typically broken down further into several sub-categories. The most common are first and second degree murder. First degree murder is the most serious of all homicide charges. It applies to situations in which someone is accused of killing another person after having planned to kill the victim. It requires malice (evil intent) and forethought (planning). These cases are usually considered among the most heinous crimes and as such, the most severe punishments are usually reserved for these convictions, including life in prison or the death penalty.

    Second degree murder, on the other hand, usually applies to cases in which someone may have intended to kill another, but did not have time to plan it (a crime of passion). For example, a husband that flies into a rage and kills his wife when he comes home to discover her in bed with another man could be a second degree murder. Some states also apply the label of second degree murder to situations in which someone's actions were so wanton and reckless that the death of another person was readily foreseeable, even if killing someone was not the intention, such as driving at speed into a crowd of people. Second degree murder is also very serious, and in most situations the defendant will face life in prison or a similarly harsh sentence, though the death sentence is not an option.

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  • the motive and means are what prosecution look for in court. They generally don't take cases without them. Without motive, everyone is a suspect.

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  • So that they would know how to be safe from said suspect in the future? I mean, if a suspect attacked someone who happened to be a guard at a store that the suspected, as it turned out, wanted to rob, the store would then benefit from knowing that.

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  • It might give them a hint on what is going to happen next (If its a gang , not only one guy) . Why should he share it? For example , if they told him that he has to spend 10 years in prison ,, if he talked , then maybe they could make it 7 years only.

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  • Cause the jury needs it to be convinced

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  • A big part of prosecution is the INTENT of the perpetrator. It's vital to know that to help understand why the suspect did what he did, or did NOT do.

    Guilty suspects usually lie about their intent and it often must be determined indirectly. They might share their motives truthfully for a lot of reasons. The most common ones are that they don't think they can get out of it and hope cooperating will help them; they have broken under interrogation and can't think of anything else to say; or they truly are remorseful.

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  • It's extremely important... because people don't do things without a reason. If your suspect has no motive... there's a very good chance that they SHOULDN'T BE A SUSPECT AT ALL.

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    • Plus, it helps them understand the nature of a particular crime, allowing them to potentially stop future crimes of that nature, or at least solve future crimes faster.

    • Show All
    • I already answered that.

    • How does it benefit the suspect to share the motive? Why should he share it?

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