Canadian court supports the Reid Technique

Written By: Reid
Feb 01, 2010
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. Gino Arcaro has written a very insightful article describing the techniques used in this interrogation and the court's assessment of these techniques. 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.
From Mr. Arcaro's article, "The confession was ruled voluntary - there was no Charter violation. The primary detective was a "highly articulate, skilled interrogator." The officer testified that his "method of interrogation is an amalgam of his experiences in interviewing many accused persons over a number of years. He utilized some features of the so-called 'Reid Technique.' He had no physical contact with the accused at any time prior or during the interview. He did not physically threaten the accused. He engaged in lengthy monologues and called the accused by his first name."The interrogation included 11 strategies:
  1. Direct Positive Confrontation
  2. The Use of Deceit by the Interviewer
  3. Minimizing Moral Responsibility
  4. Moral Inducements
  5. Condemning Others in Order to Ease the Responsibility of the Suspect
  6. Commenting on the Accused's Credibility at his Trial
  7. Highlighting the Accused's Redeeming Qualities
  8. Quid Pro Quo
  9. Comments on the Legal Process
  10. Right to Silence
  11. Power Imbalance
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