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  02/10/2015Toronto Sun Gets It Wrong
In a recent article entitled, "Peel Regional Police investigative techniques questioned" the author, Sam Pazzano, makes a number of erroneous statements about The Reid Technique, primarily based on the information he received from two lawyers involved in the Mikey Spence case. Here is the email that we sent to Mr. Pazzano:

Mr. Pazzano,

I just read your article entitled, "Peel Regional Police investigative techniques questioned" and was very surprised that with your extensive discussion of The Reid Technique you did not call our office to ask us about the technique that we have been teaching to the law enforcement community for over 50 years. At the very least I would think that you would want to confirm whether or not the description of the Reid Technique given to you by lawyers James Fleming and David Schulman was, in fact, accurate.

Let me clarify a few of the errors in your article.
The Reid Technique is built on a core of principles that include the following:

  1. Always conduct interviews and interrogations in accordance with the guidelines established by the courts
  2. Do not make any promises of leniency

  3. Do not threaten the subject with any physical harm or inevitable consequences

  4. Do not deny the subject any of their rights

  5. Do not deny the subject the opportunity to satisfy their physical needs

  6. Always treat the subject with dignity and respect


In your article you quote Fleming and Schulman as stating that "The Reid Technique presumes the person is guilty." That simply is not the case. The Reid Technique, when applied as we teach the process, should always begin with a non-accusatory interview designed to develop investigative and behavioral information. During this interview process (which some investigators equate with the PEACE model) the investigator plays a neutral and objective fact finder. It is only when the investigative information and evidence indicate that that a subject may be withholding or fabricating relevant information that an interrogation would take place. Accusing a subject of lying should never be the first contact with a subject.

In your article you state, "In Canada, there have been a number of high profile cases where police interrogators using the Reid technique created false confessions, some of which resulted in wrongful convictions." That is absolutely not true. False confessions are not caused by the proper application of The Reid Technique, they are caused when the investigators engage in behavior that the courts have deemed to be coercive - threats of harm or inevitable consequences; promises of leniency; denial of a subject's rights; and excessively long interrogations to name a few. In reality, the Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court, have consistently upheld the techniques that we teach.

In the case of R. v. Amos (2009) the Ontario Superior Court upheld the techniques that the interrogator successfully used to obtain a confession, many of which are elements of the Reid Technique. For example, when discussing the interrogator's efforts to minimize the suspect's moral responsibility, the court stated the following:

There is nothing problematic or objectionable about police, when questioning suspects, in downplaying or minimizing the moral culpability of their alleged criminal activity. I find there was nothing improper in these and other similar transcript examples where [the detective] minimized [the accused's] moral responsibility. At no time did he suggest that a confession by the subject would result in reduced or minimal legal consequences. Those questions did not minimize the offence anywhere close to the extent of oppression within the meaning of Oickle and other authorities. In using the words "this is your opportunity" to tell your story, and statements to the effect that "your credibility is at its highest now", and in asserting to the accused that he would not be as credible ten months down the road at trial when he had "spoken to lawyers", and the like, the detective was making an approach to the accused's intellect and conscience.

In R. v. Oickle, (2000) the Canadian Supreme Court overturned a lower court's suppression of an arson confession and expressed implicit approval of many of the interrogation techniques utilized in The Reid Technique. In Oickle, the Court of Appeals suggested that the interrogator's understanding demeanor improperly abused the suspect's trust. The Canadian Supreme Court disagreed stating,

"In essence, the court [of appeals] criticizes the police for questioning the respondent in such a gentle, reassuring manner that they gained his trust. This does not render a confession inadmissible. To hold otherwise would send the perverse message to police that they should engage in adversarial, aggressive questioning to ensure they never gain the suspect's trust, lest an ensuing confession be excluded."

Furthermore, in Oickle, the Court of Appeals concluded that the police improperly offered leniency to the suspect by minimizing the seriousness of his offense. The Supreme Court again disagreed stating,

"Insofar as the police simply downplayed the moral culpability of the offence, their actions were not problematic."

In Oickle the Supreme Court offers support for the investigator's necessity to be less than truthful in persuasive efforts during an interrogation. It referenced to the often cited decision of Justice Lamer who wrote, "The investigation of crime and the detection of criminals is not a game to be governed by the Marques's of Queensbury rules. The authorities, in dealing with shrewd and often sophisticated criminals, must sometimes of necessity resort to tricks or other forms of deceit and should not through the rule be hampered in their work. What should be repressed vigorously is conduct on their part that shocks the community." (Rothman v. The Queen, 1981)

In the Reid Technique we teach that when a suspect appears to be debating whether or not to tell the truth, the use of an alternative question can be a very effective means to obtain the first acknowledgement of the truth. Examples of an alternative question include, "Have you done this many times before or was this just the first time?", "Did you blow that money on drugs and partying, or did you use it to pay bills?", "Was this whole thing your idea or did you get talked into it?" It is important to recognize that none of these alternative questions address real consequences the suspect may face. This concept is emphasized repeatedly during training in The Reid Technique, including several examples of improper alternative questions. An example of an improper alternative question is, "If you planned this out and it was premeditated then we're talking first degree murder. That means spending the rest of your life behind bars. On the other hand, if this happened on the spur of the moment then it's just manslaughter." Clearly this alternative question is telling the suspect that if he confesses to manslaughter he will be sentenced less harshly. It is improper and could be used as grounds to suppress a confession.

In Oickle, the Court of Appeals expressed concern that the use of an alternative question implied a threat or promise of leniency. In refuting this argument, the Canadian Supreme Court offers a clear test of whether or not an implied threat or promise crosses the legal line to where an ambiguous statement may invalidate a confession. In their opinion they state,

"The most important consideration in all cases is to look for a quid pro quo offer by interrogators, regardless of whether it comes in the form of a threat or a promise."

A relevant passage from R. v. Rennie illustrates excellent insight into the criminal mind:

"Very few confessions are inspired solely by remorse. Often the motives of an accused are mixed and include a hope that an early admission may lead to an earlier release or a lighter sentence. If it were the law that the mere presence of such a motive, even if promoted by something said or done by a person in authority, led inexorably to the exclusion of a confession, nearly every confession would be rendered inadmissible. This is not the law. In some cases the hope may be self-generated. If so, it is irrelevant, even if it provides the dominant motive for making the confession. There can be few prisoners who are being firmly but fairly questioned in a police station to whom it does not occur that they might be able to bring both their interrogation and their detention to an earlier end by confession."

There are always two sides to every story - as a reporter I thought that would be a paramount concern of yours - to present both sides.

Joseph P. Buckley
President
John E. Reid and Associates

Current What's New:
  07/10/2017There are Good Interrogations and There are Bad Interrogations
The International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training published the following article , “There are Good Interrogations and There are Bad Interrogations” by Joseph P. Buckley, president of John E. Reid and Associates: 

Every day we read about law enforcement successfully solving criminal cases by a combination of talking to people; developing forensic evidence; interviewing and, when appropriate, interrogating suspects. In many cases, however, there is limited or no forensic evidence or witness testimony that implicates a specific person as the perpetrator so the investigators have to rely extensively on their interviewing skills to develop investigative information that can lead them to the offender.

Once the investigators make contact with the suspected offender, they will generally conduct a non-accusatory fact finding interview to develop investigative information, such as his activities at the time of the crime; his alibi; his relationship to the victim; his knowledge of the crime scene, etc. If the information developed during this interview and the subsequent investigation indicate the subject’s likely involvement in the commission of the crime, the investigators will initiate an interrogation. 
A good interrogation is characterized by the following elements:

Click here for the full article

  07/03/2017July - August 2017 Investigator Tip Cognitive Interviewing
Cognitive interviewing is a memory retrieval procedure designed to enhance recall when interviewing a victim or witness.  Unlike hypnosis, which involves placing the subject in an altered state of consciousness, cognitive interviewing relies on retrieving memories that are stored in different areas of the brain by cognitively stimulating various neural pathways.  This phenomenon is familiar to all of us.  A certain song, smell or taste may remind us of a memory long since forgotten.  On the drive home from an unfamiliar location, seeing one familiar object oftentimes stimulates recall of upcoming buildings, intersections or landscapes that would not otherwise be remembered.


Click here for the complete article.

  06/21/2017Four Reid Training Programs awarded National Certification
The International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement has establish a rigorous evaluation process for the review and certification of law enforcement training programs.  John E. Reid and Associates has successfully achieved National Certification for these courses:





Major County Sheriffs’ Association Endorses IADLEST NCP

“As an association dedicated to the continuing education of our members, we are very happy to embrace a new, and very high standard, for law enforcement training. The NCP seal will make it easier to select training programs that we know have been critically examined in order to meet the threshold required for NCP endorsement.”

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
President, Major County Sheriffs’ Association


  06/07/2017'Fake facts, deceptive editing and omission of key evidence.' Making a Murderer prosecutor Ken Kratz breaks his silence about never-before-revealed proof that Steven Avery IS guilty and accuses the producers of duping viewers
A story by the DailyMail.com this week published extensive excerpts form their interview with the prosecutor, Ken Kratz, regarding his new book.  
"The producers of hit documentary Making a Murderer duped millions of viewers into wrongly believing convicted killer Steven Avery is innocent by fabricating facts, omitting key evidence and using deceptive editing practices to misrepresent even courtroom testimony, according to a bombshell new book.
Using evidence never before revealed, maligned chief prosecutor Ken Kratz attempts to 'set the record straight' in the controversial case by proving Avery is guilty of the violent 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.”


Click here for the complete article.

  06/05/2017“There’s a lot of gold in the Reid interrogation manual and on reid.com and we really really encourage you guys to go up there and cite that material.”

Defense attorneys were encouraged to use the information on our website (www.reid.com) and our book, Criminal Interrogation and Confessions (5th ed. 2013) as a reference for proper police practices that should be followed when interrogating a suspect.

In July 2014, at the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys conference, there was a presentation entitled, “ Theories and Advocacy Strategies in False Confession Cases.”  The presenters were Steve Drizin, Center on Wrongful Convictions, Chicago, IL; Laura Nirider, Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, Chicago, IL.

Here is a transcript of Laura’s comments regarding the value of the information on our website and in our book for attorneys to review in preparing their briefs to point out best practices.

“Other things we cite when we are writing this stuff up legally, ah, this is beautiful right, we love as Steve says finding law enforcement sources to support our positions.  John E. Reid and Associates, the marketers of The Reid Technique of Interrogation have a great website, reid.com, I encourage you all to go there, there’s a lot of great material on there, there’s actually, and in their book as well, this is from their book their interrogation manual:

 “The interrogator must avoid any expressed or intentionally implied statement to the effect that because of the minimized seriousness of the offense, the suspect is to receive a lighter punishment.”

Basically don’t tell them that if you confess you’re gonna, things are going to go better for you.  This is wonderful.  We cite this in all of our briefs.  This is like law enforcement best practices, don't’ promise leniency in any way, right.

Ah, this one is great….it’s a little like… this is ah again from the Reid interrogation manual:

“Consider an innocent rape suspect who is falsely told that DNA evidence positively identifies him as the rapist.” 

Of course Reid says:

“Will this false statement cause an innocent person to suddenly confess?  Of course not. However, (says Reid) consider t he false statements were then used to convince the suspect that he would be found guilty of the crime and sentenced to prison.” 

Well we saw that in Robert Davis, didn’t we?

“Further suppose the investigator tells the suspect that if he cooperates by confessing he will be afforded leniency.”

Again we saw that in Robert Davis.

“ Under these conditions, (says Reid) it becomes much more plausible that an innocent person may decide to confess not because, solely because,  fictitious evidence was presented but because that evidence was used to augment an improper interrogation technique.”

The threat.  Beautiful.  Cite it everywhere.  Don’t combine lies and threats, that’s what Reid says.  That’s what police officers should be doing.  I use it whenever I have an interrogation where the police officer did just that.

And they go on and on and on.  Most of these are from the book as well:

“Don’t use deception with youthful suspects or individuals with low social maturity.”

“Don’t use an accident theme to get the person to sort of admit to  accidentally having done the crime.”

“Use extreme care when questioning juveniles.”

“If the suspect agrees to take a polygraph as soon as possible”

You saw that with Robert Davis remember in the first clip he said please bring up the polygraph I’ll take it I’ll show you I’m innocent to Reid that’s a huge indicator of innocence.  That’s important to Reid. And that’s something that should be embraced as well.

And of course t hey say:

“Don’t try to persuade a suspect that they committed a crime and just don’t remember it.”

There’s a lot of gold is the point of all this.  There’s a lot of gold in the Reid interrogation manual and on reid.com and we really really encourage you guys to go up there and cite that material.  Same thing on contamination.  This is something that law enforcement and defense attorneys should be able to agree upon it is just a bad practice for the officers to tell the suspect how the crime happened during the interrogation.  Right? As the people from the video said the interrogator from the Robert Davis video said, it defeats the purpose of…. and John E. Reid has some great quotes on that that we put into our brief as well.  It is imperative they say not to disclose information about a crime during the interrogation.  It is imperative that that information comes out of the suspect’s mouth, otherwise any statement you get loses evidentiary value.

There’s, and again I think I already talked about this I won’t mention it again there is law enforcement recognition from John E. Reid and Associates that juveniles are more vulnerable during interrogation.  And there is a beautiful publication, a beautiful publication from the I nternational Association of Chiefs of Police called “Reducing Risk: An Executive Guide to Juvenile Interviews and Interrogations” and it is everything that a defense attorney would ask for in terms of a law enforcement statement of best practices  on how to question a juvenile….. 

The IACP document that Laura references can be found on this page at the entry dated 01/16/2016.



  06/04/2017The Juvenile Law Center, Wicklander-Zulawski and Professor Garrett refer to Reid as the “leading law enforcement training firm” and quote from the Reid book to reference proper juvenile interrogation techniques
In the case Brendan Dassey v. Michael Dittman, the Juvenile Law Center, Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates and Professor Brandon L. Garrett filed an Amici Curiae Brief in support of Appellee, filed in
December 2016. In their brief the state the following:

Reid & Associates, Inc., developer of the Reid technique of interrogation and leading law enforcement training firm, also instructs law enforcement officers to

Take special precautions when interviewing juveniles or individuals with significant mental or psychological impairments[sic]  Every interrogator must exercise extreme caution and care when interviewing or interrogating a juvenile or a person who is mentally or psychologically impaired. Certainly these individuals can and do commit very serious crimes, but since many false confession cases involve juveniles and/or individuals with some significant mental or psychological disabilities, extreme care must be exercised when questioning these individuals and the investigator has to modify their approach with these individuals. Furthermore, when a juvenile or person who is mentally or psychologically impaired confesses, the investigator should exercise extreme diligence in establishing the accuracy of such a statement through subsequent corroboration. In these situations it is imperative that the interrogator does not reveal details of the crime so that they can use the disclosure of such information by the suspect as verification of the confession's authenticity.

Further on they reference “Fred E. Inbau, John E. Reid, Joseph P. Buckley & Brian C. Jayne, CRIMINAL INTERROGATIONS AND CONFESSIONS 352 (JONES AND BARTLETT, 5THED. 2013) (hereinafter Inbau, Reid, et. al) (The use of fictitious evidence “should be avoided when interrogating a suspect with low social maturity or a diminished mental capacity” because “these suspects may not have the fortitude or the confidence to challenge such evidence . . . and may become confused as to their own possible involvement, if the police tell them evidence clearly indicates they committed the crime.”).”

They also state, “Reid and Associates specifically instructs its interrogators to avoid interrogations centered on “helping” the suspect because some courthave interpreted such statements as implied promises of leniency, ....... Inbau, Reid, et. Al, supra, at 331.



  05/18/2017The Development of the Non-Confrontational Interview

John E. Reid and his colleague, Northwestern Professor of Law Fred E. Inbau, developed the non-confrontational interview as an integral part of any questioning of a suspect.

The following excerpts are from the second edition of their book, Criminal Interrogation and Confessions, published in 1967 (the first edition was published in 1962 but was revised after the US Supreme Court’s 1966 decision, Miranda v. Arizona).

When discussing how to approach and question a subject regarding possible involvement in the commission of the crime under investigation, the authors recommend that the investigator “assume a neutral position and refrain from making any statement or implications one way or the other until the subject discloses some information or indications pointing either to his innocence or his guilt.”

In conducting this non-confrontational interview the authors state, “The subject must be questioned and engaged in conversation in order to permit the [investigator] to study his behavior and conduct, to search for significant remarks or contradictions in his statements, and to check his statements in the light of known facts and circumstances.”

Reid and Inbau suggest that the following questions should be part of this interview:

  • Ask the subject if he knows why he is being questioned
  • Ask the subject to relate all he knows about the occurrence, the victim, and possible suspects
  • Obtain from the subject detailed information about his activities before, at the time of, and after the occurrence in question
  • Ask the subject if he ever thought about committing the offense in question or one similar to it
  • Ask the subject whether he is willing to take a lie-detector test

These guidelines and questions developed into what is today an integral part of the Reid Technique - the Behavior Analysis Interview.

In all investigations we teach to conduct a non-accusatory, non-confrontational Behavior Analysis Interview with each subject to determine whether or not an interrogation is appropriate.



  05/10/2017Reid announces collaboration with iRecord

John E. Reid & Associates has always advocated for the proper treatment of all suspects during an investigation. We teach that every suspect needs to be treated in a respectful and lawful manner.

One of the tenants of THE REID TECHNIQUE® is that an investigator should never make any promise of leniency or in any way threaten a suspect to obtain an admission of guilt. Any admission that is obtained needs to be properly substantiated. 

An important way to document that a suspect interview and interrogation is conducted properly is by recording the process. To help promote this, Reid is pleased to announce our collaboration with the iRecord Company.

IRecord is the premier provider of recording software and video equipment for Law Enforcement Agencies and Child Advocacy Centers. They provide secure, high quality recording solutions that can be adapted to interview rooms of all types.

Our goal in working with iRecord is to encourage the recording of suspect interviews and interrogations and to provide investigators the skills necessary to conduct effective, lawful interrogations.

Reid invites any agency that installs an iRecord system to send one of their investigators through our 4-Day Interview and Interrogation seminar for free. We will also allow any agency that currently uses an iRecord system to send someone through our training for free.

To obtain additional information about the iRecord Company and their services you can go to their website at iRecord.tv. You can also receive further details about our collaborative free seat policy by contacting Toni Overman.


toverman@reid.com

  04/11/2017The Reid Technique - Celebrating 70 Years of Excellence
Founded in 1947, the Reid Technique has become the gold standard for proper interview and interrogation procedures.

Our Core Principles are as follows:
  • Always conduct interviews and interrogations in accordance with the guidelines established by the courts
  • Do not make any promises of leniency
  • Do not threaten the subject with any physical harm or inevitable consequences
  • Do not deny the subject any of their rights
  • Do not deny the subject the opportunity to satisfy their physical needs
  • Always treat the subject with dignity and respect

Click here for full story.

  04/09/2017REID'S RESPONSE TO W-Z's MARCH 6, 2017 PRESS RELEASE

REID'S RESPONSE TO W-Z's

MARCH 6, 2017 PRESS RELEASE 

We are responding to Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates' (W-Z) recent public announcement that it will no longer be offering the Reid Method in its law enforcement training program.  After teaching the Reid Method for the past 33 years under a license agreement with John E. Reid & Associates, W-Z is now attempting to discredit the Reid Method as having “fallen under scrutiny due to its potential risk for eliciting false confessions,” a false narrative often advanced by defense attorneys.

Over the past 50 years, several hundred thousand law enforcement officers have taken our course.  It is regarded by the law enforcement community as the gold standard in interviewing and interrogating suspects in criminal investigations.  Using the Reid technique does not result in false confessions.  Just the opposite is true.  False confessions result when suspects in criminal investigations are interrogated using methods which we specifically advise NOT TO USE. 

Click here for our complete response


UPDATE: 21 MARCH 2017

Calibre Press article by Owner Jim Glennon re the WZ Press Release


Does Reid & Associates teach officers a confrontational method of interviewing and interrogating that results in false confessions? I ask that question because recently they were basically accused of that. Or rather-the method they teach was accused of that.

So does their method result in false confessions? Not at all.

First it's important to address this at the outset: I have absolutely no relationship whatsoever with Reid & Associates, who I believe to have the premier interview and interrogation training program in the country. I have, however, been to more than a half a dozen classes, seminars and lectures conducted by them over my 30-year career.

Click here for complete article



  03/14/2017The International Encyclopedia of Interprersonal Communication includes an excellent article entitled, Interrogation.
The International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication, First Edition, edited by Charles R. Berger and Michael E. Roloff (2016) includes an excellent article on current interrogation methodology by Stanley M. Slowik, president o Stanley M. Slowik, Inc.  Here is the article’s Abstract:
Interrogation is the art of persuading a guilty person to tell the truth.  Discussion includes interrogation behaviors that distinguish truth and deception, differences between interviews and interrogations, admissions and confessions, false expectations and false promises of leniency.  Interrogation methodologies are examined within the context of legality and effectiveness. 

Click here to access the article.

  01/25/2017How the Courts View the Reid Technique

As we move into 2017 we will be celebrating 70 years of excellence.  John E. Reid founded the company in 1947.  Over the last seven decades the Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation has become the gold standard of the industry.

In July 2014, at the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys conference there was a presentation entitled, “Theories and Advocacy Strategies in False Confession Cases.”  The presenters were Steve Drizin, Center on Wrongful Convictions, Chicago, IL; Laura Nirider, Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, Chicago, IL.  In their presentation they stated that Reid is the gold standard on proper procedures, and that they regularly review reid.com and our materials to establish best practices and to point out what other investigators did that was improper.  They specifically reference our cautions re the questioning of juveniles.

We have prepared a PDF document and a Power Point program detailing the Core Principles of the Reid Technique and how the courts view the Reid Technique.  Here is the content of the material:

-  Core Principles of the Reid Technique                                                           

-  What is the Reid Technique?                                                                          

-  How the Courts View Minimization                                                              

-  How the Courts View Misrepresenting Evidence to the Suspect                  

-  How the Courts View Being Friendly and Empathetic with the Suspect      

-  How the Courts View the Alternative Question                                            

-  Several Courts have Admonished Investigators for Not Following Reid Guidelines

-  Federal Court - No Basis for the Claim that the Reid Technique is coercive

-  False Confession Expert Testimony About the “Coercive” Nature of the Reid Technique is Rejected 

-  Reid as the Gold Standard 

Click here for the Power Point program

Click here for the pdf

How Courts View the Reid Technique Dec 2016.pdf



  01/16/2017States that require electronic recording of interrogations

Attorney Thomas Sullivan has done extensive work on promoting the value of electronically recording interrogations and he has extensively surveyed police departments around the country to determine the extent of recording interrogations.  Attorney Sullivan has provided a list of 23 states and the District of Columbia that require that interrogations be electronically recorded. 

Click Here

Attorney Sullivan has also provided a Model Recording Act adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.  


Click here for Model Recording Act

  01/16/2017Recording Juvenile Interrogations in Illinois

Click below for a  copy of the legislation that modifies The Juvenile Court Act of 1987, expanding the requirement to electronically recored juvenile interrogations in Illinois.

 
Also, here is a link to the Chicago Police Department  Special Order regarding the electronic recording of interrogations of juveniles under 18 years of age:  

Click here for Copy of Legislation

  01/06/2017Excellent example of how false confession experts misrepresent what we teach in the Reid Technique

In State v. Tapke  the Court of Appeals of Ohio upheld the defendant's confession which was obtained by an officer who was trained in The Reid Technique. Dr. Richard Ofshe testified about false confessions and attempted to describe The Reid Technique. The jury subsequently rejected his testimony and "chose not to discredit it [the confession]."

It is interesting to note that in his testimony Dr. Ofshe testified that as part of The Reid Technique interrogators are taught the following:

"So what police have learned to do is to communicate the message through a series of suggestions… the idea being to communicate the understanding that there’s a deal on the table, but without ever explicitly saying here’s the deal.” He used the example of a person accused of GSI. He testified that the police would say something like this to a suspect: "[Y]ou're not a sexual predator; you're someone who needs treatment. What would you rather do, go to prison as a sex offender, or get some therapy in treatment."

It is interesting to note that the exact opposite is the case - we teach not to make any statements that refer to punishment, threats or promises of leniency and in our training seminars we highlight the case, Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista, in which the Massachusetts Supreme Court indicated that "what seemed to disturb the Court the most was the apparent reference to counseling which they felt "implicitly suggested to him that "counseling" would be an appropriate avenue for him to pursue after making a confession." In other words, if he confessed he would get counseling instead of jail." This is exactly what we teach not to do


Click here for the complete decision

  01/01/2017January/February 2017 Investigator Tip: Ten

Physical coercion, torture, duress, denial of rights, threats, and promises of leniency are the poison pills of legally admissible, reliable, and voluntary confessions.  Obviously we should not engage in such behaviors or any tactics that could render a confession involuntary.  This article is intended to assist the professional investigator by outlining statements and techniques that should be avoided so as to insure the integrity of the subject’s confession.


Click Here

  11/1/2016Legal Updates Fall 2016
Confession suppressed - made under the influence of fear produced by threats
  • The suspect does not have to know all of the possible issues they will be questioned about to make a knowing and intelligent waiver of rights
  • Statements indicating that juries were more likely to be lenient if presented with a full confession were not coercive
  • Questioning by law enforcement officers is less likely to rise to the level of a custodial interrogation when it occurs in a defendant’s home
  • The value of recording an interrogation to refute the defendant’s claims of threats and promises
  • “How was your Halloween?” was the functional equivalent of interrogation 
  • Court restricts the testimony of false confession expert Dr. Richard Leo
  • Court finds that Loss Prevention investigator conducted a proper interview and interrogation
  • “… the Court must express its strong concern that the search and interrogation methods used in this case barely fall within the borders of what is legally acceptable”
  • Court rejects defendant’s claim that he confessed because his family members were threatened with arrest
  • “I think I need a lawyer, I don't know, but I want to cooperate and talk” was not an unequivocal request for a lawyer
  • Court rules confession voluntary even though defendant was told that if the baby’s death was the result of a 100% accident he would probably go free 
  • Police statements that the defendant’s nephew would be released if the defendant “did the right thing” [confessed] and that the police “should have brought your sister down too” were not coercive
  • Court upholds incriminating statements made during a police interview while defendant was incarcerated for an unrelated crime even though no Miranda warnings were issued
  • Court excludes testimony from false confession expert Dr. Brian Cutler
  • Court reject’s defendant’s claim that his confession was coerced as the result of a threat to him and his family by a co-defendant


Click here for updates

  10/26/2016Dr. Richard Leo Testimony In Jimerson v. State (June 2016)

In Jimerson v. State (June 2016) Dr. Richard Leo testified about police interrogation techniques and specifically referenced the Reid Technique.  The following is a discussion of several statements that Dr. Leo made during his testimony (as stated in the court’s decision) and our response. Dr. Leo’s statements are in italics.


To view the testimony and response, click here

  10/25/2016The suggestion that the Reid Technique is prohibited in Great Britain (or any country) is a false statement

In a recent court case (Radilla-Esquivel v. State) and an article discussing false confessions, there were references that “the Reid Technique is prohibited in some countries.”  That is a false statement. 

 


Click here to read why this is false...

Click Here to view earlier "What's New"