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 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 the 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 they 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 International 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.