Your Search found these items:
02/10/2015||Courts affirm interrogation techniques that are often mischaracterized by false confession experts|
Courts affirm interrogation techniques that are often mischaracterized by false confession experts|
In our Legal Updates Summer 2014 we have several cases that we wanted to highlight for our audience that specifically affirm interrogation techniques that false confession critics often mischaracterize and associate with false confession topics.
1. Misrepresenting evidence:
False confession experts ofttimes testify that when the police misrepresent evidence to the suspect (for example, that there was a DNA match) there is a high probability that it will cause a false confession. In actuality it is not the misrepresentation of evidence that is the impetus, but rather the "aggravating circumstances" otherwise present during the interrogation. Here are two cases addressing the issue of misrepresenting evidence to the suspect.
In Jefferson v. State (July 2014) the Supreme Court of Nevada found that "Jefferson's argument that his confession was rendered involuntary by the detectives' deceptive interrogation techniques is unavailing. Jefferson argues that the detectives misrepresented DNA evidence by exaggerating what DNA evidence could reveal to them and the time frame in which they would learn the information. However, "an officer's lie about the strength of the evidence against the defendant is, in itself, insufficient to make the confession involuntary."
Furthermore, in US v. Graham (June 2014) the US District Court, N.D. Georgia, pointed out that misrepresenting evidence is "one factor to consider among the totality of the circumstances in determining voluntariness." ... However, "[c]ourts have been reluctant to deem trickery by the police a basis for excluding a confession on the ground that the tricks made the confession coerced and thus involuntary."
The court points out that there are a number of cases in which statements elicited from a defendant in response to police deception were found involuntary,.... but "these cases all involve significant aggravating circumstances not present here, such as, subjecting the accused to an exhaustingly long interrogation, the application of physical force or the threat to do so, or the making of a promise that induces a confession."
In other words, it is not the misrepresentation of evidence that is the genesis of a coerced or even false confession, but the "aggravating circumstances" present during the interrogation.
2. The accident scenario:
False confession experts ofttimes testify that when the police suggest to the suspect that the shooting may have been an accident, it is tantamount to a promise of leniency and that it is likely to cause an innocent person to confess. Here are two cases addressing the issue of suggesting that the die may have been caused accidentally.
In State v. Turner (May 2014) the Nebraska Supreme Court held that misinformation by police officers during the defendant's interview that felony murder would receive a lesser sentence than premeditated murder did not overcome defendant's will so as to render his confession involuntary based on purported promises of leniency. From the court's opinion: "Turner argues that his confession was involuntary because it was induced by an implied promise that he would receive a lesser sentence if he confessed that the shooting was accidental. As evidence of this implied promise, he points to Ficenec's statements that it made "a big difference" how and why the shooting occurred..." After an examination of the totality of circumstances the court rejected this argument and found the confession admissible.
In Smith v. State (June 2014) the Supreme Court of Georgia held that statements by the police detectives during a custodial interrogation to the effect that shooting the victim was an accident in response to the victim lunging at the defendant did not constitute a slightest hope of benefit that could render defendant's confession inadmissible.
3. Confession voluntariness:
In People v. McIntyre (May 2014) the Colorado Supreme Court laid out 13 factors that they consider in the evaluation of the voluntariness of a confession:
- whether the defendant was in custody;
- whether the defendant was free to leave;
- whether the defendant was aware of the situation;
- whether the police read Miranda rights to the defendant;
- whether the defendant understood and waived Miranda rights;
- whether the defendant had an opportunity to confer with counsel or anyone else prior to or during the interrogation;
- whether the statement was made during the interrogation or volunteered later;
- . whether the police threatened [the] defendant or promised anything directly or impliedly;
- the method [or style] of the interrogation;
- the defendant's mental and physical condition just prior to the interrogation;
- the length of the interrogation;
- the location of the interrogation; and
- the physical conditions of the location where the interrogation occurred.
Current What's New:
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 Interrogationand 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 ConfessionCases.” 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 isgreat….it’s a little like… this is ah again from the Reid interrogation manual:
“Consideran 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) considert 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 courset 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 theinterrogation. 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 theinterrogation. 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 theI nternational Association of Chiefs of Police called “Reducing Risk: AnExecutive 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.
06/04/2017||The 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 theReid 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 cautionand 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 mentalor 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, JohnE. 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 socialmaturity or a diminished mental capacity” because “these suspects maynot have the fortitude or the confidence to challenge such evidence . . . and may become confused as to their own possible involvement, ifthe 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 ofleniency, ....... Inbau, Reid, et. Al, supra, at 331.
05/18/2017||The 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 Interrogationand 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 orcontradictions 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 BehaviorAnalysis Interview with each subject to determine whether or not an interrogation is appropriate.
05/10/2017||Reid 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.
04/11/2017||The 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.
04/09/2017||REID'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
03/14/2017||The 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.
01/25/2017||How 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 programClick here for the pdf How Courts View the Reid Technique Dec 2016.pdf
01/16/2017||States 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.
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
01/06/2017||Excellent 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
01/01/2017||January/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.
11/1/2016||Legal 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
10/26/2016||Dr. 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
10/25/2016||The 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...
09/08/2016||September/October 2016 Investigator Tip: When Co-Offenders Are Being Interrogated Consider ìPlaying One Against the Otherî|
"When two or more persons have collaborated in the commission of a criminal offense and are later apprehended for questioning, there is usually a nagging fear on the part of each participant that one of them will "talk." Individually, each of them may feel confident of his own ability to evade detection and to avoid confessing, but they generally do not experience a comparable degree of confidence with regard to the co-offender's ability or even willingness to do so. Uppermost in their minds is the possibility that one of them will confess in an effort to obtain special consideration.”
Click here for the complete tip.
08/31/2016||Dr. Richard Leo report describes his view of false confession issues and police interrogation techniques|
In a recent report in an alleged false confession case, Dr. Richard Leo describes his view of current law enforcement interrogation techniques and the various issues associated with false confessions. Dr. Leo’s comments are reflective of the current approach that most false confession experts take when they discuss the issue.
Click here to view the key elements of the report.
Click Here to view earlier "What's New"