Video presentation by Dr. Richad Leo in which he gives his description of the Reid Technique

Written By: Reid
Oct 12, 2011
On their website, The Innocence Legal Team, offers a video presentation by Dr. Richard Leo of his description of the Reid Technique (which he also calls the Reid Method). The presentation can be accessed by clicking on the link labeled, Research on Coerced Confessions and Investigations, on their website at

It should be noted that Dr. Leo misrepresents the essential elements of the Reid Technique - in fact, he includes in his description of the technique statements made to the suspect by the investigator that are clearly inappropriate and in violation of multiple court decisions. We address many of these misrepresentations in one of our Investigator Tips - What Exactly is The Reid Technique of Interrogation, which you can access on our website at

One note of interest, Dr. Leo suggests that an interrogator suggesting to the suspect in a homicide case that he may have acted in self-defense or that the shooting may have been an accident constitutes a coercive technique - the courts disagree.

In the recent September 2011 case of People v. Batiste (Sept. 2011), the Curt of Appeal, 1st District, Div. 3, California, the defendant claimed that his confession was coerced because it was the product of deception or implied promises of leniency by the officers. From the court's opinion:

"Batiste argued in the trial court that the officers made an implied promise of leniency when they suggested he might have acted in self-defense. That argument lacked merit. Here, as in People v.. Carrington (2009) 47 Cal.4th 145, 171, "suggestions that the ... homicide might have been an accident, a self-defensive reaction, or the product of fear, were not coercive; they merely suggested possible explanations of the events and offered defendant an opportunity to provide the details of the crime. This tactic is permissible. [Citation.] Moreover, any benefit to defendant that reasonably could be inferred from the substance of [the officer's] remarks was ' " 'merely that which flows naturally from a truthful and honest course of conduct,' " ' because the particular circumstances of a homicide can reduce the degree of culpability, and thus minimize the gravity of the homicide or constitute mitigating factors in the ultimate decision as to the appropriate penalty. [Citation]."