Candidate for Juris Doctor Significantly Misrepresents the Reid Technique

Written By: Joseph P. Buckley
Nov 29, 2023

A Paper entitled, Coming to PEACE with Police Interrogations: Abandoning the Reid Technique and Adopting the PEACE Method, that was written by Delia Gavin, Candidate for Juris Doctor 2021; Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, was recently brought to our attention.

The paper is replete with erroneous information – here are a few items:

  1. In describing the Juan Rivera case in which he had served 20 years in prison for a murder he did not commit Ms. Gavin erroneously states that law enforcement investigators used the Reid Technique in questioning Mr. Rivera.

The Core Principles of the Reid Technique are:

  • Always treat the subject with dignity and respect
  • Always conduct interviews and interrogations in accordance with the guidelines established by the courts
  • Do not make any promises of leniency or threats of harm or inevitable consequences
  • Do not conduct interrogations for an excessively lengthy period of time
  • Do not deny the subject any of their rights
  • Do not deny the subject the opportunity to satisfy their physical needs
  • Exercise special cautions when questioning juveniles or individuals with mental or psychological impairments

When an interrogation is conducted, and the investigators do not follow these principles they are not using the Reid Technique.

False confessions are not caused by the application of the Reid Technique, they are usually caused by investigators engaging in behavior that the courts have ruled to be objectionable, such as threatening inevitable consequences; making a promise of leniency in return for the confession; denying a subject their rights; conducting an excessively long interrogation; denying the suspect an opportunity to satisfy their physical needs, etc.

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